Dog Brothers Public Forum

DBMA Martial Arts Forum => Martial Arts Topics => Topic started by: Crafty_Dog on June 26, 2006, 11:09:54 AM

Title: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 26, 2006, 11:09:54 AM
Bring this post of XtremeKali over here to start a new thread:
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Could not find an LEO thread.
Panel: Street gangs moving into suburbs By MICHAEL TARM, Associated Press Writer
Wed Jun 21, 10:03 AM ET



CHICAGO - Chicago street gangs are increasingly moving into the suburbs, driven by the demolition of housing projects that once hid their illegal activities and by the perception that police in smaller communities lack the experience to deal with them, a city crime commission found.


"People in the suburbs can no longer view gangs as an inner-city problem," said Jim Wagner, the Chicago Crime Commission's president who helped write a 272-page report released this week. "It's a problem they can no longer ignore."

The study surveyed 81 suburban police departments and found most had come into contact with gangs in their communities.

The report attributed the shift to gang members' perception that suburban police aren't as well-equipped to scrutinize and disrupt drug dealing and other illegal activities. It also cited the tearing down of high-rise housing projects in Chicago "that were hideouts for gangs, incubators for gang crime and were often impenetrable to law enforcement," Wagner said.

The document, titled "The Gang Book," is meant to serve as a guide for suburban police, parents and businesses who may know little to nothing about gangs. It includes photographs of gang hand signs and tattoos, as well as block-by-block maps showing which gangs control what parts of the Chicago area.

The Chicago area has many as 100 street gangs with an estimated 125,000 members, according to the report. Ten to 20 of those gangs, including the powerful Gangster Disciples, Latin Kings and Vice Lords, are well-organized entities.

Des Plaines Mayor Tony Arredia said suburban authorities are aware of the problem.

"Gang activity in the suburbs is not new," he said. "It hasn't been new since way before I was the mayor."
_________________
Freedom is for those who are willing to die for it
Title: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: xtremekali on July 10, 2006, 09:31:57 AM
From SWAT to Counter Terror Unit
Is your team prepared for counterterror operations?
Posted: June 19th, 2006 09:52 PM PDT

HENRY MORGENSTERN
SOLOMON BRADMAN
Security Solutions International
Officer.com

No one in law enforcement doubts that terror will eventually rear its ugly head in the U.S.A. Given that unfortunate certainty, will today's well trained U.S. SWAT and SRT Teams be able to tackle terrorists in the same way they valiantly handle some of the worst criminals? Are the tactics for terror the same?

To make things more difficult, SWAT teams must deal constantly with different situations and adapt quickly to new equipment and weapons both lethal and less lethal. Even if that were enough, there is always policy and procedure.

Terror situations bring a new challenge to this complex task. Terror poses unique, high risk and complex operations with or without hostages. With a little creativity, it is not very hard to envision the scenarios. Schools, cruise ships, shopping malls, theme parks. . .you get the idea?

Terrorists have a different modus operandi. They may be relishing the idea that an entire SWAT team will be breaching their safe house or apartment. The place may already be booby-trapped and ready for the terrorists to take the entire SWAT team with them. Especially with suicide terrorists, the most important part of the mission is to die and take as many people as possible with them.

Israeli counter terror units face this challenge very frequently. Their elite police SWAT unit for terror operations, known by its acronym -- the YAMAM -- must deal with such scenarios. The police in Spain also found themselves surrounding the apartment where some of the perpetrators of the train attacks were holed up. You can say that the Madrid train attacks, that killed 191 persons, was Spain's 911. More than 1,500 were injured, and survivors are still struggling to rebuild their lives.

Imagine tomorrow, intelligence sources have just notified your SWAT team that they have information that there are five suicide bombers in the final stages of preparation before they are all off to attack five soft targets in your city. You have learned that the safe house is located in a crowded suburb, and this time, not everyone in the house is a terrorist! Will you know what to do?

SWAT teams need to train for the above scenarios by first learning about the enemy they are up against and the new higher threat level they will face at the scene. Simple things like standoff distances are different when dealing with explosives. It is also important to learn that taking appropriate cover against IEDs is not the same as the type of cover and position you would take against someone shooting at you.

That being said, the use of bomb techs on the team to disable booby traps should be a staple, and incorporating all other resources such as K9 and robots should all be included. All involved must train, and the above scenarios worked on prior to the event. Proper communication and coordination can be the difference between success and failure.

Using all your resources to provide the utmost safety for your team is the key. In some cases patience is a virtue. If the terrorist sdo not have hostages, and you succeed in identifying and closing off their location, the ball is now in your court. Time is on your side, and the use of fast and dynamic entries are not the right choice. A slow and deliberate attempt that slowly escalates from a bull horn to less than lethal to flash bangs and up to whatever it takes, would be the appropriate response.

Believe it or not, the hardest part of the mission may be taking the terrorist alive. A successful CT mission brings the terrorist back alive, as they are the source of the needed intelligence to capture the others involved in planning the next attack. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a simple attack. Even a single suicide attack at a mall in Israel that kills a few unlucky victims requires numerous conspirators, including drivers, handlers, and safe houses. Someone gathers intelligence and others assist with the explosives, and training the bomber for the mission. This is why trying to capture the terrorist alive will in turn save more innocent lives by assisting in getting information to catch the others involved.

At a recent training undertaken by former YAMAM operatives for SSI, the SWAT team took on these challenges and strived to perfect the techniques that would later be incorporated in their CT training programs. The five days of active tactical training began with numerous drills in sealing the objective area in a situation with known terrorists and no hostages in a non-permissive environment. Once sealed, pressure on the terrorists is escalated to get them to come out and surrender if at all possible. Sealing the area begins either by infiltration by foot, or rapid closure using multiple undercover cars. Timing and coordination are very important, so as to leave no avenue of escape. In some cases, the instructors changed the situation as the teams were moving towards the objective. Live explosive charges were used to simulate booby traps.

The training week continued and included training in how to clear buildings and rooms occupied by terrorists, snatching, bus and car interdiction, the use of canines, and the replication of real world terrorist situations experienced by the SSI trainers. The scenarios were carried out in real time.

"We have never trained on what to do against suicide bombers, booby traps and explosives. This has truly open our eyes on what dealing with a terrorist situation will be like," was the comment of the SWAT commander attending the SSI program.

There is no doubt that with the high skill levels already established on our SWAT teams across the country, adding CTU tactics to the training already being conducted, not only makes sense, but is the key to winning the war on terror.

Henry Morgenstern is the president of Security Solutions International, a company that represents Israeli know-how in counter-terror training through several highly qualified colleges, security companies and individual presenters. . A U.S. and Israeli citizen who has work experience in the USA, South America, Europe and Israel, he was educated in the United Kingdom and took an honors degree from the University of Cambridge in 1974. SSI's Suicide Terror Training has been attended by over 150 agencies coast-to-coast.
Title: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: lewis on July 11, 2006, 06:30:37 AM
Even in places like Louisville, KY (where I am,) the trend of getting rid of the projects and moving these people out to the suburbs is common.  In the suburb of Louisville where I work, we have seen several apartment complexes go to Section 8.  We also have a large influx of Hispanics.  They are mostly peaceful, hard working people, but their gangs always come with them.  Everyone should be vigilant for their own personal safety, those of us wearing a badge have to be extra cautious.
Title: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: xtremekali on July 17, 2006, 07:25:20 AM
Shooting and Movement
Improve your survival potential
Posted: July 7th, 2006 06:02 PM EDT

STEVE DENNEY
Firearms Contributor
Officer.com

My students and fellow shooters often ask me what they should work on to improve their firearms skills. There are lots of things, but one that I recommend most highly is to include movement in your range routine. This opens up a whole new world for folks who spend their time on a fixed firing line, usually with others shooting at the same time. The essential need for safety, as well as the limitations of a static range environment, really stifles your real-world gunfight preparation. Some instructors, like John Farnam, make a point of emphasizing movement at their various courses. When the facility makes it possible, it should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, many law enforcement venues, especially indoor ranges, end up being used primarily as fixed firing lane facilities. It's just easier. But the streets aren't easy.

When discussing movement, I like to point out that it takes several forms. There are basically three situations. First, your target is moving, but you are not. This is probably the easiest one to master, as you remain a stable gun platform while tracking and reacting to the target. It may be the least desirable, however, from a tactical standpoint, as it does make you a fixed target if someone is shooting at you. The second would be if you are moving, but your target is not. From a tactical standpoint, you may be harder to hit, but you also have destabilized your shooting platform, thereby decreasing your accuracy potential. The third situation would be that of both you and your target moving. This, of course, is the most difficult. Another facet of this is whether you are shooting then moving, or shooting and moving at the same time. In a given situation, any of these combinations can occur. And on the street, you can count on the fact that your target will likely be bobbing, weaving, ducking, diving, lunging, turning and maybe just falling down. The replication of these movement patterns is difficult in any range environment, with the exception of force-on-force scenarios. The fact that more and more of that type of training is being used is both encouraging and very revealing about the dynamics of real gunfights. I highly recommend it.

But, assuming you are working with a typical range facility, how should you approach shooting and movement? Well, the easiest method is to practice moving toward or away from your target. On many indoor ranges, this can be done by having someone run the target in and out while you shoot. This generally replicates at least part of the first case I mentioned above. It is the least you should do, if you have a suitable facility. You can also usually work out a way to safely move toward or away from your static target on most ranges, although it depends on who you may have to share the place with while you are there. But think for a moment about the movement pattern itself. At typical police gunfight distances, either advancing or moving directly away from your target doesn't really make the target any easier, or harder, to hit. If you can rapidly close distance from far away, yes, it will help. But at typical distances, it really should not matter, just for the sake of accuracy. Advancing toward your target may be a good tactical maneuver for other reasons, however. A criminal generally arms himself (or herself) in order to get what they want through fear and intimidation--not necessarily because they really want to shoot someone. Aggressively moving toward your target is not the reaction this sort of person is expecting. In the right circumstances, you can gain a real psychological advantage, if your movement shooting skills are up to the task. Moving away, however, can be problematic. Unless you are necessarily moving to available cover, backing up is not making you a more difficult target for your opponent and it may cause you to move in an unwanted direction--down. Tripping is a distinct possibility, and being on the ground will not improve your situation. In addition, if you have an aggressive opponent who is moving toward you, you are at a distinct disadvantage. You cannot possibly back up as quickly as your opponent can move forward. This is one reason why you can seize the initiative from your opponent by advancing yourself. You should practice both, but rearward movement is usually a last resort option.

It gets really interesting when you encounter lateral (or diagonal) movement. Here is where your practice can really pay off. You have the facilities to do so, where the usual street criminal does not (most criminals who carry a gun don't get much practice time. Thank goodness!). When your opponent moves laterally, it is harder to achieve accurate shot placement. If you are both moving, results will favor the prepared. That should be you. These things work both ways, so it is important to find a way to incorporate both target movement and shooter movement into your practice time. This is usually the tough one, as most facilities don't have the capability for the targets to move laterally. If yours does, great! Make the most of it. Work on shooting and moving at the same time, and on shooting and then moving (or moving and then shooting--you get the idea). There are, of course, safety considerations when people are moving and shooting in a training environment. It is worth the trouble to work it out.

What if you don't have the facilities? Participate in one of the so-called practical, tactical, or defensive shooting sports. Yeah, they are competitive and that does make them "games." So what? They may be the best/only game in town, so make the most of it. Each of the sports has different rules and procedures, but just being able to participate in dynamic situations, no matter how contrived, will rapidly improve your skills. I participate in the monthly matches run by First Coast IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association), at the Gateway Rifle and Pistol Club, in Jacksonville, FL. The cadre there regularly designs shooting stages that challenge you to not only move, but shoot from awkward positions and stances. We routinely do all of the movement combinations, shooting from sitting or lying down, strong-hand, weak-hand, near, far, with back-up guns, you name it. And the entry fee is a whopping $15! It helps that those guys are dedicated to the sport and that one of their leaders, Ed Sevetz, is a firearms instructor with an area sheriff's department. In fact, our April match, in remembrance of the 20 year "anniversary" of the FBI Miami shootout, was designed by Massad Ayoob. Each of the stages replicated, as near as possible, the shooting challenges that the FBI agents involved that day had to face--movement, distance, impaired vision, use of back-up guns, etc. There was also a film and discussion about the lessons learned at such a terrible price.

The Jacksonville group is not atypical of the IDPA clubs I have visited. Find one in your area, have some fun and improve your survival skills. Law enforcement personnel can use their duty gear for competition, or they can work from concealment, like the "civilians." You might also find out some very interesting things about the attitudes and abilities of armed citizens in today's society.

No matter how you do it, however, it is in your best interests to make practicing shooting with movement happen. If your department doesn't provide the training, get it elsewhere. As I have said many times, it is your life that is on the line.


Web Links:

International Defensive Pistol Association

Steve Denney is a former municipal police sergeant, USAF Officer and chief of security/safety officer for a large retirement and healthcare community. A former SWAT officer, crime prevention officer and both military and police firearms trainer, he is currently an instructor for LFI Judicious Use of Deadly Force, LFI Stressfire, and NRA and other defensive tactics disciplines. He currently trains police, military and private citizens. He is a charter member of ILEETA, a member of IALEFI, and serves on the Firearms Committee of ASLET.
Title: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: xtremekali on July 24, 2006, 09:19:38 AM
In a Troubled Area, Violence Competes Daily With Progress
The LAPD's 'South Bureau' continues to be a hot spot, with some fearing that civil unrest could erupt at any time.
By Matt Lait and Scott Glover
Times Staff Writers

July 17, 2006

Earl Paysinger doesn't mince words when talking about the 57 square miles of urban landscape he oversees as a Los Angeles Police Department assistant chief.

"It's a violent piece of real estate," the 30-year LAPD veteran said. "This part of the city has always been a great challenge for us."

The real estate he's referring to is South Los Angeles, an area singled out last week by a blue-ribbon panel as a deeply troubled hot spot where tensions between residents and police run so high that civil unrest could erupt at any time.

"It's hanging by a thread," said civil rights attorney Connie Rice, who spearheaded the panel's examination of the LAPD's Rampart Division scandal. "I would not be surprised if something were to blow there this summer."

Police officials and some community leaders acknowledge that there are serious problems to contend with ? but they do not believe the situation is as dire.

Paysinger, in fact, believes that relationships between the LAPD and the community are getting better.

South Los Angeles is policed by four LAPD divisions collectively known as "South Bureau." The district stretches from the Santa Monica Freeway to the Los Angeles harbor.

And, indeed, it is a troubled place: If it were its own city, Paysinger says, it would be the nation's most violent. The homicide rate in 2004 was four times the national average. One South Bureau division ? Southeast, with a population of 150,000 spread over 10 square miles ? had more homicides that year than North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Vermont combined. In recent years, as in most of Los Angeles, the bureau's homicide rate has gone down ? but it still runs three times higher than the citywide average.

Grandmothers, Paysinger says, have been known to put children to sleep in bathtubs to protect them from errant gunfire. Researchers believe some children suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder because of all the violence they witness.

Protecting the nearly 700,000 South Bureau residents from the mayhem are 1,460 LAPD officers.

"Those are not good odds," Paysinger said.

According to the report by Rice and the panel, a dangerous combination of factors makes that section of the city volatile: It includes poor, disenfranchised neighborhoods that feel victimized by gangs, drugs and the police who are supposed to protect them, and a "thin blue line" of officers who face life-threatening dangers as they try to keep peace with limited resources.

"These are not just underclass poverty descriptors," warned the Rampart report, "these are the trigger conditions for the city's next riot."

Friction between police and residents in South Los Angeles is nothing new. It touched off the Watts riots in 1965 and the civil unrest in 1992 after the acquittals of the officers involved in the beating of Rodney G. King.

In recent years, high-profile confrontations between South Bureau officers and suspects have riled residents and led to accusations of heavy-handed police tactics:

?  A Southeast Division officer in 2004 was captured on videotape repeatedly striking suspected car thief Stanley Miller with a metal flashlight after a pursuit.

?  An officer fatally shot 13-year-old Devin Brown in 2005 in the 77th Street Division after a car chase in which the youngster allegedly backed up toward the officer.

?  SWAT officers in 2005 mistakenly shot 19-month-old Susie Pena, whose father held her as a shield during a gun battle with police.

After each of those incidents, community leaders and residents accused the LAPD of using excessive force and demanded that officers be held accountable. In response, Chief William J. Bratton and Paysinger met with residents, listened to their complaints and assured them that full investigations would be conducted.

Andre Birotte Jr., the Police Commission's inspector general and a participant in some of those sessions, said he felt the city averted major unrest because Paysinger had invested time in forging key relationships in the community.

"My humble opinion is Earl has saved the city from burning down several times," Birotte said.

Residents are not the only ones frustrated by conditions in South Los Angeles. The perils of policing there were all too apparent last month when a 52-year-old robbery suspect shot and paralyzed Southwest Officer Kristina Ripatti.

The weaponry that officers seize also speaks to the dangers. Last year, police in South Bureau recovered more than 2,000 firearms; so far this year more than 1,000 have been confiscated ? more than in any other area of the city.

"These are the kinds of situations and episodes that make this a very challenging place," Paysinger said.

To overcome the community's mistrust of the LAPD, Paysinger and other police officials proactively try to educate residents on police tactics and keep them informed on both day-to-day activities and major events.

Even some LAPD critics acknowledged the efforts.

Najee Ali, an African American community activist who has helped organize protests against the LAPD, said Bratton and Paysinger "have made tremendous strides in trying to have a dialogue with South Los Angeles leaders, more than any other police administration. And that includes the black chiefs," he said.

The conflicting feelings about the LAPD were apparent last week as Sgt. Al Labrada drove through several housing projects in the Southeast Division. Many residents glared as he went past; a few, however, smiled and offered a quick wave or nod.

"People need more help here than anywhere else," said Labrada, who has worked in South Los Angeles for 10 years. "The majority are good people who want to be able to go to work and live here safely."

Paysinger was recently promoted by Bratton and will soon assume new duties away from South Bureau. His replacement will be Deputy Chief Charlie Beck, who was credited by Rice's panel with dramatically improving the department's relationship with residents in the Rampart Division.

In its report titled "Rampart Reconsidered: The Search for Real Reform Seven Years Later," the panel said Rampart experienced a "turnaround" after the 1999 corruption scandal because police officials embraced a "high road" policing model that emphasized community relationships and problem-solving over the aggressive paramilitary style that has long characterized the LAPD.

The panel recommended that the entire department adopt the same approach. They also called for the hiring of 3,000 more officers departmentwide.

In an interview last week, Rice said her concern about the South Bureau was based on dozens of conversations with residents, officers and others.

"I hope I'm wrong about this, but I don't like the vibe," Rice said. "The anger down there is so palpable. The anger actually blinds people to the good stuff."

John Mack, president of the Police Commission, said he agrees that the relationship between officers and residents in the city's south end is volatile, but not to the degree described by Rice.

"I don't want to be predicting an explosion," said Mack, a longtime civil rights activist who served as president of the Los Angeles Urban League before being appointed to the commission last year.

Mack said "a long history of friction and mutual distrust" has created an environment in which otherwise minor incidents take on added significance.

"It's a tense relationship," he said. "All you need is one incident to have things escalate."

Despite the tension, Mack said he believes police have gained ground in the way they are perceived by most of the community.

"I feel that we are making progress," he said. "Yes, it's too slow. Yet I feel that we are."


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Title: Dystyopian Justice
Post by: buzwardo on July 24, 2006, 03:15:41 PM
A lesson doubtless lost on many do-gooding Americans.

City Journal

Real Crime, Fake Justice

Theodore Dalrymple

Summer 2006

For the last 40 years, government policy in Britain, de facto if not always de jure, has been to render the British population virtually defenseless against criminals and criminality. Almost alone of British government policies, this one has been supremely effective: no Briton nowadays goes many hours without wondering how to avoid being victimized by a criminal intent on theft, burglary, or violence.

An unholy alliance between politicians and bureaucrats who want to keep prison costs to a minimum, and liberal intellectuals who pretend to see in crime a natural and understandable response to social injustice, which it would be a further injustice to punish, has engendered a prolonged and so far unfinished experiment in leniency that has debased the quality of life of millions of people, especially the poor. Every day in our newspapers we read of the absurd and dangerous leniency of the criminal-justice system. On April 21, for example, even the Observer (one of the bastions of British liberalism responsible for the present situation) gave prominence to the official report into the case of Anthony Rice, who strangled and then stabbed Naomi Bryant to death.

Rice, it turned out, had been assaulting women since 1972. He had been convicted for assaulting or raping a total of 15 women before murdering Naomi Bryant, and it is a fair supposition that he had assaulted or raped many more who did not go to the police. In 1982, he grabbed a woman by the throat, held a knife to her, and raped her. Five years later, while out of prison on home leave, he grabbed a woman, pushed her into a garden, held a knife to her, and raped her for an hour. Receiving a life sentence, he was transferred to an open prison in 2002 and then released two years later on parole as a low-risk parolee. He received housing in a hostel for ex-prisoners in a village whose inhabitants had been told, to gain their acquiescence, that none of the residents there was violent; five months after his arrival, he murdered Naomi Bryant. In pronouncing another life sentence on him, the judge ordered that he should serve at least 25 years: in other words, even now the law has not quite thrown away the key.

Only five days later, the papers reported that 1,023 prisoners of foreign origin had been released from British prisons between 1999 and 2006 without having been deported. Among them were 5 killers, 7 kidnappers, 9 rapists and 39 other sex offenders, 4 arsonists, 41 burglars, 52 thieves, 93 robbers, and 204 drug offenders. Of the 1,023 prisoners, only 106 had since been traced. The Home Office, responsible for both prisons and immigration, still doesn?t know how many of the killers, arsonists, rapists, and kidnappers are at large; but it admits that most of them will never be found, at least until they are caught after committing another offense. Although these revelations forced the Home Secretary to resign, in fact the foreign criminals had been treated only as British criminals are treated. At least we can truly say that we do not discriminate in our leniency.

Scandal has followed scandal. A short time later, we learned that prisoners had been absconding from one open prison, Leyhill, at a rate of two a week for three years?323 in total since 1999, among them 22 murderers. This outrage came to light only when a senior policeman in the area of Leyhill told a member of Parliament that there had been a crime wave in the vicinity of the prison. The member of Parliament demanded the figures in the House of Commons; otherwise they would have remained secret.

None of these revelations, however, would have surprised a man called David Fraser, who has just published a book entitled A Land Fit for Criminals?the land in question being Great Britain, of course. Far from being mistakes?for mistakes repeated so often cease to be mere mistakes?all these occurrences are in full compliance with general policy in Britain with regard to crime and criminality.

Fraser was a probation officer for more than a quarter of a century. He began to doubt the value of his work in terms of preventing crime and therefore protecting the public, but he at first assumed that, as a comparatively lowly official in the criminal-justice system, he was too mired in the grainy everyday detail to see the bigger picture. He assumed also that those in charge not only knew what they were doing but had the public interest at heart.

Eventually, however, the penny dropped. Fraser?s lack of success in effecting any change in the criminals under his supervision, and thus in reducing the number of crimes that they subsequently committed, to the great misery of the general public, was not his failure alone but was general throughout the system. Even worse, he discovered that the bureaucrats who ran the system, and their political masters, did not care about this failure, at least from the point of view of its impact on public safety; careerist to the core, they were only concerned that the public should not become aware of the catastrophe. To this end, they indulged in obfuscation, statistical legerdemain, and outright lies in order to prevent the calamity that public knowledge of the truth would represent for them and their careers.

The collective intellectual dishonesty of those who worked in the system so outraged Fraser?and the Kafkaesque world in which he found himself, where nothing was called by its real name and language tended more to conceal meaning than to convey it, so exasperated him?that, though not a man apt to obtrude upon the public, he determined to write a book. It took him two and a half years to do so, based on 20 years of research, and it is clear from the very first page that he wrote it from a burning need to expose and exorcise the lies and evasions with which he lived for so long, lies and evasions that helped in a few decades transform a law-abiding country with a reputation for civility into the country with the highest crime rate in the Western world, with an ever-present undercurrent of violence in daily life. Like Luther, Fraser could not but speak out. And, as events unfolded, his book has had a publishing history that is additionally revealing of the state of Britain today.

By example after example (repetition being necessary to establish that he has not just alighted on an isolated case of absurdity that might be found in any large-scale enterprise), Fraser demonstrates the unscrupulous lengths to which both bureaucrats and governments have gone to disguise from the public the effect of their policies and decisions, carried out with an almost sadistic indifference to the welfare of common people.

He shows that liberal intellectuals and their bureaucratic allies have left no stone unturned to ensure that the law-abiding should be left as defenseless as possible against the predations of criminals, from the emasculation of the police to the devising of punishments that do not punish and the propagation of sophistry by experts to mislead and confuse the public about what is happening in society, confusion rendering the public helpless in the face of the experimentation perpetrated upon it.

The police, Fraser shows, are like a nearly defeated occupying colonial force that, while mayhem reigns everywhere else, has retreated to safe enclaves, there to shuffle paper and produce bogus information to propitiate their political masters. Their first line of defense is to refuse to record half the crime that comes to their attention, which itself is less than half the crime committed. Then they refuse to investigate recorded crime, or to arrest the culprits even when it is easy to do so and the evidence against them is overwhelming, because the prosecuting authorities will either decline to prosecute, or else the resultant sentence will be so trivial as to make the whole procedure (at least 19 forms to fill in after a single arrest) pointless.

In any case, the authorities want the police to use a sanction known as the caution?a mere verbal warning. Indeed, as Fraser points out, the Home Office even reprimanded the West Midlands Police Force for bringing too many apprehended offenders to court, instead of merely giving them a caution. In the official version, only minor crimes are dealt with in this fashion: but as Fraser points out, in the year 2000 alone, 600 cases of robbery, 4,300 cases of car theft, 6,600 offenses of burglary, 13,400 offenses against public order, 35,400 cases of violence against the person, and 67,600 cases of other kinds of theft were dealt with in this fashion?in effect, letting these 127,900 offenders off scot-free. When one considers that the police clear-up rate of all crimes in Britain is scarcely more than one in 20 (and even that figure is based upon official deception), the liberal intellectual claim, repeated ad nauseam in the press and on the air, that the British criminal-justice system is primitively retributive is absurd.

At every point in the system, Fraser shows, deception reigns. When a judge sentences a criminal to three years? imprisonment, he knows perfectly well (as does the press that reports it) that in the vast majority of cases the criminal in question will serve 18 months at the very most, because he is entitled automatically, as of right, to a suspension of half his sentence. Moreover, under a scheme of early release, increasingly used, prisoners serve considerably less than half their sentence. They may be tagged electronically under a system of home curfew, intended to give the public an assurance that they are being monitored: but the electronic tag stays on for less than 12 hours daily, giving criminals plenty of opportunity to follow their careers. Even when the criminals remove their tags (and it is known that thousands are removed or vandalized every year) or fail to abide by other conditions of their early release, those who are supposedly monitoring them do nothing whatever, for fear of spoiling the statistics of the system?s success. When the Home Office tried the tagging system with young criminals, 73 percent of them were reconvicted within three months. The authorities nevertheless decided to extend the scheme. The failure of the British state to take its responsibilities seriously could not be more clearly expressed.

Fraser draws attention to the deeply corrupt system in Britain under which a criminal, once caught, may ask for other offenses that he has committed to be ?taken into consideration.? (Criminals call these offenses T.I.C.s.) This practice may be in the interests of both the criminal and the police, but not in those of the long-suffering public. The court will sentence the criminal to further prison terms that run concurrently, not consecutively, to that imposed for the index offense: in other words, he will in effect serve the same sentence for 50 burglaries as for one burglary, and he can never again face charges for the 49 burglaries that have been ?taken into consideration.? Meanwhile, the police can preen themselves that they have ?solved? 50 crimes for the price of one.

One Probation Service smokescreen that Fraser knows from personal experience is to measure its own effectiveness by the proportion of criminals who complete their probation in compliance with court orders?a procedural outcome that has no significance whatever for the safety of the public. Such criminals come under the direct observation of probation officers only one hour a week at the very most. What they do the other 167 hours of the week the probation officers cannot possibly know. Unless one takes the preposterous view that such criminals are incapable of telling lies about their activities to their probation officers, mere attendance at the probation office is no guarantee whatever that they are now leading law-abiding lives.

But even if completion of probation orders were accepted as a surrogate measure of success in preventing re-offending, the Probation Service?s figures have long been completely corrupt?and for a very obvious reason. Until 1997, the probation officers themselves decided when noncompliance with their directions was so egregious that they ?breached? the criminals under their supervision and returned them to the courts because of such noncompliance. Since their own effectiveness was measured by the proportion of probation orders ?successfully? completed, they had a very powerful motive for disregarding the noncompliance of criminals. In such circumstances, all activity became strictly pro forma, with no purpose external to itself.

While the government put an end to this particular statistical legerdemain, probation orders still go into the statistics as ?successfully completed? if they reach their official termination date?even in many cases if the offender gets arrested for committing further offenses before that date. Only in this way can the Home Office claim that between 70 and 80 percent of probation orders are ?successfully completed.?

In their effort to prove the liberal orthodoxy that prison does not work, criminologists, government officials, and journalists have routinely used the lower reconviction rates of those sentenced to probation and other forms of noncustodial punishment (the word ?punishment? in these circumstances being used very loosely) than those imprisoned. But if the aim is to protect the law-abiding, a comparison of reconviction rates of those imprisoned and those put on probation is irrelevant. What counts is the re-offending rate?a point so obvious that it is shameful that Fraser should have not only to make it but to hammer it home repeatedly, for the politicians, academics, and journalistic hangers-on have completely obscured it.

By definition, a man in prison can commit no crimes (except against fellow prisoners and prison staff). But what of those out in the world on probation? Of 1,000 male criminals on probation, Fraser makes clear, about 600 will be reconvicted at least once within the two years that the Home Office follows them up for statistical purposes. The rate of detection in Britain of all crimes being about 5 percent, those 1,000 criminals will actually have committed not 600, but at least 12,000 crimes (assuming them to have been averagely competent criminals chased by averagely incompetent police). Even this is not quite all. Since there are, in fact, about 150,000 people on probation in Britain, it means that at least 1.8 million crimes?more than an eighth of the nation?s total?must be committed annually by people on probation, within the very purview of the criminal-justice system, or very shortly after they have been on probation. While some of these crimes might be ?victimless,? or at least impersonal, research has shown that these criminals inflict untold misery upon the British population: misery that they would not have been able to inflict had they been in prison for a year instead of on probation.

To compare the reconviction rates of ex-prisoners and people on probation as an argument against prison is not only irrelevant from the point of view of public safety but is also logically absurd. Of course the imprisoned will have higher reconviction rates once they get out of jail?not because prison failed to reform them, but because it is the most hardened, incorrigible, and recidivist criminals who go to prison. Again, this point is so obvious that it is shameful that anyone should have to point it out; yet politicians and others continue to use the reconviction rates as if they were a proper basis for deciding policy.

Relentless for hundreds of pages, Fraser provides examples of how the British government and its bloated and totally ineffectual bureaucratic apparatus, through moral and intellectual frivolity as well as plain incompetence, has failed in its elementary and sole inescapable duty: to protect the lives and property of the citizenry. He exposes the absurd prejudice that has become a virtually unassailable orthodoxy among the intellectual and political elite: that we have too many prisoners in Britain, as if there were an ideal number of prisoners, derived from a purely abstract principle, at which, independent of the number of crimes committed, we should aim. He describes in full detail the moral and intellectual corruption of the British criminal-justice system, from police decisions not to record crimes or to charge wrongdoers, to the absurdly light sentences given after conviction and the administrative means by which prisoners end up serving less than half their time, irrespective of their dangerousness or the likelihood that they will re-offend.

According to Fraser, at the heart of the British idiocy is the condescending and totally unrealistic idea?which, however, provides employment opportunities for armies of apparatchiks, as well as being psychologically gratifying?that burglars, thieves, and robbers are not conscious malefactors who calculate their chances of getting away with it, but people in the grip of something rather like a mental disease, whose thoughts, feelings, and decision-making processes need to be restructured. The whole criminal-justice system ought therefore to act in a therapeutic or medical, rather than a punitive and deterrent, fashion. Burglars do not know, poor things, that householders are upset by housebreaking, and so we must educate and inform them on this point; and we must also seek to persuade them of something that all their experience so far has taught them to be false, namely that crime does not pay.

All in all, Fraser?s book is a searing and unanswerable (or at least so far unanswered) indictment of the British criminal-justice system, and therefore of the British state. As Fraser pointed out to me, the failure of the state to protect the lives and property of its citizens, and to take seriously its duty in this regard, creates a politically dangerous situation, for it puts the very legitimacy of the state itself at risk. The potential consequences are incalculable, for the failure might bring the rule of law itself into disrepute and give an opportunity to the brutal and the authoritarian.

You might have thought that any publisher would gratefully accept a book so urgent in its message, so transparently the product of a burning need to communicate obvious but uncomfortable truths of such public interest, conveyed in such a way that anyone of reasonable intelligence might understand them. Any publisher, you would think, would feel fortunate to have such a manuscript land on his desk. But you would be wrong, at least as far as Britain is concerned.

So uncongenial was Fraser?s message to all right-thinking Britons that 60 publishers to whom he sent the book turned it down. In a country that publishes more than 10,000 books monthly, not many of which are imperishable masterpieces, there was no room for it or for what it said, though it would take no great acumen to see its commercial possibilities in a country crowded with crime victims. So great was the pressure of the orthodoxy now weighing on the minds of the British intelligentsia that Fraser might as well have gone to Mecca and said that there is no God and that Mohammed was not His prophet. Of course, no publisher actually told him that what he said was unacceptable or unsayable in public: his book merely did not ?fit the list? of any publisher. He was the victim of British publishing?s equivalent of Mafia omerta.

Fortunately, he did not give up, as he sometimes thought of doing. The 61st publisher to whom he sent the book accepted it. I mean no disrespect to her judgment when I say that it was her personal situation that distinguished her from her fellow publishers: for her husband?s son by a previous marriage had not long before been murdered in the street, stabbed by a drug-dealing Jamaican immigrant, aged 20, who had not been deported despite his criminal record but instead allowed to stay in the country as if he were a national treasure to be at all costs cherished and nurtured. Indeed, in court, his lawyer presented him as an unemployed painter and decorator, the victim of racial prejudice (a mitigating circumstance, of course), a view that the prosecution did not challenge, even though the killer had somehow managed alchemically to transmute his unemployment benefits into a new convertible costing some $54,000.

The maternal grandmother of the murdered boy, who had never been ill in her life, died of a heart attack a week after his death, and so the funeral was a double one. It is difficult to resist the conclusion that the killer killed not one but two people. He received a sentence of eight years?which, in effect, will be four or five years.

I asked the publisher the impossible question of whether she would have published the book if someone close to her had not had such firsthand experience of the frivolous leniency of the British criminal-justice system. She said she thought so: but what is beyond dispute is that the murder made her publication of the book a certainty.

A Land Fit for Criminals has sold well and has been very widely discussed, though not by the most important liberal newspapers, which would find the whole subject in bad taste. But the book?s publishing history demonstrates how close we have come to an almost totalitarian uniformity of the sayable, imposed informally by right-thinking people in the name of humanity, but in utter disregard for the truth and the reality of their fellow citizens? lives. Better that they, the right-thinking, should feel pleased with their own rectitude and broadmindedness, than that millions should be freed of their fear of robbery and violence, as in crime-ridden, pre-Giuliani New York. Too bad Fraser?s voice had to be heard over someone?s dead body.

http://www.city-journal.org/html/16_3_oh_to_be.html
Title: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: xtremekali on July 31, 2006, 07:45:12 AM
Keep Pursuits in Context
Information is critical for risk management
Posted: July 27th, 2006 04:36 AM EDT

STEVE ASHLEY
EVOC Contributor
Officer.com

We hear a lot in the media about pursuits, especially when they turn out bad. The simple truth is that, unless someone is injured or killed as the result of a pursuit, you'd probably never read anything about pursuits at all. In fact, it's probably safe to say that, absent some sort of injurious outcome, most members of the public really don't care how much we pursue, or whether we pursue at all. It's sort of one of those "out of sight, out of mind" things.

However, should someone get hurt, be it citizen or officer, the sky falls in on us. Newspapers are rife with stories regarding the incident, and it's not uncommon to read analyses of pursuit trends in the area of the chase. A typical story includes information regarding the number of pursuit related injuries and fatalities in, say, the last year. Sometimes, statistics from your geographic area are compared against national estimates, usually with commentary from some "expert," regarding how bad your numbers are. There's almost always a statement regarding the need for better policies and more restrictions.

Here's the thing: you almost never read these statistics in context--that is, against the background of your department's general traffic enforcement efforts, or your number of successful pursuits. One wonders why that is.

The Need for Context

Although the situation is improving, albeit way too slowly, it's still pretty common for departments to collect and collate only part of their pursuit related information. Sure, somewhere in the chief's desk is a folder with information, probably including copies of reports, on pursuits wherein someone was injured. It's much less common, however, for there to be accurate statistics on how many injury-free pursuits a department has conducted. That is the missing context.

Here's a possible headline, Two Killed and Three Injured in Police Chases During Last Three Years. That sounds pretty bad, even in a good-sized metropolitan area, and can lead to significant negative feedback from the public, and therefore from governmental decision makers.

Consider the same numbers within this properly documented context, "Over the last three years, the police department has been involved in 412 pursuits, three of which resulted in two suspect deaths and three injured passengers." Still not a good state of affairs, and something that your department would work on through policy, training and supervision, but a much more informed presentation of the facts.

Pursuit Reporting

It's not enough to just collect information on pursuit related injuries and fatalities; departments must also tabulate information on other pursuits. Data should be collected regarding time and location of pursuits, the nature of violations that gave rise to pursuits, the duration of pursuits, and the final outcomes. Recognize that there are nine things that can happen in a pursuit, and eight of them are bad:


The suspect can crash.
The officer can crash.
The suspect can crash into a third party.
The officer can crash into a third party.
The suspect can strike a pedestrian.
The officer can strike a pedestrian.
The suspect and officer can crash into each other.
The suspect can escape.
The suspect can be apprehended.

The fact that most of the time, suspects are apprehended without serious injury to anyone, is information that departments should make sure the media and the public are aware of.

Another important aspect of context is the nature of the offense that gave rise to a pursuit. If most of your department's pursuits are related to simple traffic offenses, that's important information. On the other hand, if you limit pursuits to more serious crimes and situations where the escape of a suspect is more likely to present a greater danger to the public, then tabulation of that data is critical as well.

The Need for Direction

Legal experts advise that there is an expectation that departmental managers will supervise, direct and control activities that could result in harm to citizens or officers. In order to do that, managers need all the information they can get. If detailed data is only being collected when a pursuit has a negative outcome, supervisors and managers don't have what they need to do their jobs. It will be hard to convince a court that administrators are properly managing high risk activity if a department doesn't even keep track of that activity. How can they manage what they don't know?

According to reported research, as well as anecdotal information, most departments have written policies in place regarding the conduct of police pursuits. More and more departments are beginning to collect data on pursuits, similar to that collected on use of force incidents. Once this effort is fully underway, management of police pursuits, and the attendant reduction of risk in those pursuits, will be greatly enhanced.

If your department hasn't adopted a pursuit reporting program, give it serious consideration. The result will likely be safer pursuits and more defensible outcomes.

In the meantime be careful out there, and wear your vest!

Steve Ashley is a retired law enforcement officer who conducts driving and use of force training for an academy in Michigan, and works as a risk manager and expert witness. Steve is a certified trainer in many subjects, and has spoken at many state, national, and international conferences. A police officer for 15 years and a risk manager for 16 years, Steve specializes in training officers to manage high risk activity. A prolific author, Steve has published numerous articles, and writes technology related columns for several periodicals.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 09, 2007, 04:27:39 PM
Steve Sailer's latest column at http://www.vdare.com/sailer/060108_gunfight.htm contains this fascinating tidbit:

From opposite directions, they simultaneously approached the policemen on the sidewalk in front of the Presidential residence and shot them point blank, with Torresola putting three slugs in White House Policeman Leslie Coffelt, mortally wounding him. Torresola, an expert shot, then wounded two more guards, while his less skilled compatriot Collazo blasted away at the Secret Service agents at the other end of the sidewalk, who remained unaware of Torresalo's existence. Meanwhile, the agent inside Blair House struggled to unlock the cabinet holding a Tommy gun.

Awoken from his nap by gunfire, President Truman walked to his second floor window and stood looking out at the gunfight in stunned amazement, only 30 feet from where Torresola was reloading his Luger.


In this crisis, Coffelt, the only American in position to stop Torresola, stood up despite the three 9-mm rounds in him, staggered to within 20 feet of the terrorist, and, in "what has to be considered the most important shot ever taken by an American police officer," fired one perfectly aimed bullet into his head, killing Torresola instantly.

Coffelt then sat down and died.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 22, 2007, 02:10:03 PM
Deputies lament limits on foot chases
Many say restrictions adopted in 2004 hamper their work. A Sheriff's Department monitor cites the dangers of running after suspects.
By Stuart Pfeifer, Times Staff Writer
January 21, 2007


Art no longer imitates life when it comes to that standard television police scene in which a brave officer races after a bad guy fleeing down an alleyway: In Los Angeles County and other parts of the nation, individual cops are now discouraged from chasing many suspects who run.

Stung over the years by the risky violence that often results when officer and suspect finally come face to face, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies are instead encouraged to radio for backup so others can help surround and capture the suspect. Deputies still may follow suspects on foot, but they must keep a safe distance until reinforcements arrive.

Police agencies across the country have enacted new policies to deal with when and how officers should pursue suspects who run. The Sheriff's Department policy, enacted in 2004, is one of the most restrictive in the nation. The policy states that deputies cannot confront suspects alone and should not split from their partners during foot pursuits.

The issue is particularly important because most deputies work in one-person patrol cars.

Many deputies say they believe the policy is too restrictive and prevents them from doing their jobs: arresting criminals. They say some suspects know that deputies won't chase them if they run and are brazenly taking advantage of the policy.

Sheriff's Deputy George Hofstetter, who has worked patrol assignments in Compton and Lakewood during more than 17 years with the department, said it's difficult for deputies to allow suspects to run from them.

"If you see somebody you believe to be a bad guy and they take off running, it's almost an instinct to chase after them. A lot of times you're not thinking, 'Am I in policy or out of policy?' " said Hofstetter, a director with the Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, a union that has defended deputies disciplined for conduct during foot chases.

"It's one of those things that becomes ingrained in you: to catch the person and take them to jail."

*

A 2003 case

L.A. County Deputy Brian Bishop had faced the situation so many times it seemed routine.

Early one morning in May 2003, he switched on the lights atop his patrol car and pulled behind a Chevrolet Beretta. He followed it through a few sharp turns, then watched it slide into a curb and stall.

Bishop and his partner, Deputy William Parsons, stepped out of their car and ran toward the disabled vehicle. That's when the driver, Robert Dingman, bolted. Bishop took off after him.

Clutching his gun in his right hand, the deputy ran through the darkness until the suspect slipped and fell onto a driveway. When Bishop arrived, Dingman lunged toward him, so the deputy fired a single shot, killing him, Bishop said.

The usual shooting investigations followed, and Bishop was found to have fired in self-defense even though Dingman was unarmed.

But the Sheriff's Department faulted Bishop for giving chase, confronting the suspect alone and leaving Parsons, who was training as a patrol deputy, alone with Dingman's female passenger. Bishop was suspended for two days without pay.

"We're going to let people run away who should be taken into custody, and we'll never know who they end up victimizing," Bishop said. "It's frustrating and it's sad because it's the criminals who are winning now."

*

Restrictive policy

Police departments throughout the country have adopted policies that guide officers' responses when a suspect runs. Many of them caution officers to consider the danger of foot chases, encourage them to consider alternatives to chasing the suspects and advise them when to stop a pursuit, such as when they lose radio communication or lose sight of the suspect.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department policy is particularly restrictive because it advises deputies that they should not attempt to confront a suspect by themselves.

At the Los Angeles Police Department, officers are discouraged from splitting from their partners during pursuits but are not prohibited from confronting suspects while alone, said Lt. Paul Vernon, a department spokesman. They are advised not to chase suspects who are believed to be carrying firearms, Vernon said.

Wayne Quint, president of the Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, said Orange County deputies are allowed to use their best judgment during pursuits and are trained to avoid situations that could endanger themselves or the public. Quint said he thought the disciplining of Bishop was "ridiculous."

"Come on, this is part of police work. You've got to chase bad guys," Quint said. "What do they want us to do? Nothing? In L.A., that's almost what it's coming down to."

Merrick Bobb, an attorney who monitors the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department under a contract with the Board of Supervisors, has long criticized foot chases and the dangers they create for both deputies and suspects.

Nearly one-fourth of the department's officer-involved shootings between 1997 and 2002 came during or at the end of foot chases, Bobb noted in a report that criticized such pursuits.

Illustrating the dangers of foot pursuits, Bobb's report detailed a case in which a deputy caught a suspect only to end up in a life-or-death struggle.

The suspect disarmed the deputy and attempted to shoot him, but the deputy placed a finger beneath the trigger and prevented the suspect from firing. The struggle was so fierce that the deputy's finger was broken.

Bobb said deputies should avoid adrenaline-pumping foot chases and instead use helicopters, dogs and additional deputies to track and apprehend fleeing suspects. He said officers have been groomed by movies and television cop shows to believe it's unmanly to let suspects run from them. But sometimes keeping a safe distance and waiting for reinforcement is the best approach, he said.

"This is not a game of cowboys and Indians. This is about the safest and most effective way to bring a suspect into custody," Bobb said. "It's not by running after the guy just because you think he disrespected you.

"While I respect and praise police officers for being brave, I don't respect them for being foolish."

Bill McSweeney, chief of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department's leadership and training division, said the department is particularly concerned about deputies pursuing suspects alone. The idea is not to let suspects get away but to use a team approach in which deputies cover every possible escape route on the ground and a helicopter searches above.

"The department is always trying to strike a balance between a deep desire to apprehend serious criminals and making sure deputies don't get into something over their head that gets them killed, and that's a tug of war," McSweeney said. In foot chases, "the odds are that you're going to get hurt or the guy does something in the dark that spooks you and you shoot him. Even though you want to go for broke, it's got to be balanced."

Bishop, the deputy involved in the Dingman shooting, said he did not think it was unsafe for him to leave his partner. He said he would have abandoned the chase if the suspect hopped a fence, as he had been trained. When the suspect tripped, Bishop said, he had no choice but to confront him.

"He didn't get over the wall. Am I supposed to turn around and run away from him when he slips and falls? I still had my partner in sight. What, I'm supposed to have him attached to my hip?" Bishop said.

*

'Tying our hands'

On the day of the shooting, a warrant was out for Dingman's arrest on a charge that he violated his parole on an earlier conviction for auto theft and burglary. He had prior convictions for assault, exhibiting a deadly weapon and resisting a peace officer.

The deputies union was so upset about Bishop's discipline that it paid to air a few late-night radio ads attacking the decision, an unprecedented public relations move that underscored a deep divide within the department.

"They're just tying our hands … and it's all about liability," Bishop said.

Roy Burns, past president of the L.A. County deputies union, said the disciplining of Bishop and new departmental restrictions on foot pursuits have frustrated deputies and left the public in danger.

"This is all about, 'We're afraid you're going to get hurt.' But you know what? That's part of the job," Burns said. "When bad guys run, they have a reason for running. Those people we chase ultimately can do significant damage to the community.

"They gave him time off for good, proactive police work. All it does is send a message to every deputy sheriff: 'Do not get involved. Do not challenge bad guys.' And who pays the price? The good citizen," Burns said.

Dingman's family claimed in a lawsuit that Bishop shot Dingman while he was running. The bullet entered Dingman's back, evidence that the shooting did not happen as Bishop described it, the family contended. Los Angeles County paid $400,000 to resolve the lawsuit.

Bishop maintained that he shot Dingman after the man reached for his gun. The district attorney's office concluded that is was possible that Dingman lunged for the deputy's gun, then turned his back and was shot.

In 1998, the Police Department in Collingswood, N.J., imposed one of the most restrictive foot pursuit policies in the country. The department took action after a series of incidents in which officers followed suspects into homes and then were ambushed, Bobb noted in his report.

Collingswood officers were ordered to refrain from pursuits while alone and to abandon pursuits when a suspect entered a building, when the suspect's location was not known or when a person had been identified and could be arrested later.

In the next five years, the department reported a decrease in the number of officers injured on duty and no decrease in the number of fleeing suspects who were arrested, according to Bobb's report. The department achieved this because officers more frequently called for reinforcement and used a team approach to catch fleeing suspects, according to a report published in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin.

The new concern about foot pursuits does not mean that deputies and police officers should let suspects go free, Bobb said. They need to use restraint and take advantage of their resources, he said.

"Shame on you if you let suspects get away. But also shame on you if you blindly chase after someone and put yourself in danger," Bobb said.

The pursuit controversy changed Bishop's attitude toward police work. He has spent the last year in an office job, helping run background checks on prospective deputies. An appeal of his two-day suspension is pending.

"I'm less proactive because I'm worried the next time I do something — who's going to second-guess that?" Bishop said.

*


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
stuart.pfeifer@latimes.com
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 22, 2007, 05:35:18 PM
Second post of the day:

RICHARD NANCE
Defensive Tactics Contributor
Officer.com


Wouldn't it be nice to know who was armed, the type of weapon they were carrying, and where on their body the weapon was concealed? Unfortunately, the first indication many officers have that someone is armed is when a weapon is used against them. While someone carrying a concealed weapon will often exhibit traits that an alert officer can recognize, this is not always the case. Therefore, you must assume that anyone may be armed until you determine otherwise.

Watch the hands

Always pay close attention to hands. While it's true that other personal body weapons such as elbows, knees, shins and feet can cause injury...hands kill! If someone's hand is concealed, you must assume that person may be armed. If you wait for confirmation that the person is armed, you will have placed yourself at an extreme tactical disadvantage.

"Take your hands out of your pockets." Do you really want him to take his hands out of his pockets? If he's clutching a weapon, you've just granted him permission to draw it. Instead, consider having a person with their hands in their pockets face away from you and slowly remove their hands, one at a time, on your command.

If a hand furtively reaches into or is pulled from a pocket or from the waist or groin area, you should be doing one of two things, depending on the distance between you and the suspect. If you are within lunging distance, move away from the threat by stepping forward at a 45 degree angle, pivot toward the suspect, and shove his near side shoulder/upper back. This will hinder his ability to draw a weapon and allow you the opportunity to draw yours. If you are further away, create distance with lateral and rearward movement (preferably toward cover) while drawing your firearm.

Visually search clothing

A firearm, edged weapon, bludgeon, or improvised weapon can easily be concealed in clothing. This is particularly true during winter, since heavy jackets often completely conceal the waist area, which is recognized as one of the most common carry locations for concealed weapons.

Be particularly leery of an individual wearing a snow jacket at noon in mid-July. Although it's not illegal to wear inappropriate clothing for the weather conditions, it certainly should be viewed as a red flag. While the individual may simply be cold for some reason, he may be wearing the jacket to conceal a sawed-off shotgun!

Look for unusual bulges in clothing where weapons could be concealed. Is the silhouette of that jacket distorted around the waist only on one side? It could be a large cellular phone...or a firearm!

Monitor body language

Often times, armed individuals will give several indications that they are carrying a weapon. Look for warning signs, such as a person with their arms crossed, hands in pockets, hand hovering around the front waist area, etc. In each case, the armed subject may be trying to keep their hand(s) close to the weapon for quick deployment. Additionally, people who are not used to carrying a concealed weapon will often touch the weapon to ensure that it's still there (especially in cases where the weapon is not carried in a holster). There may also be psychological reasons for touching the weapon, since it can represent power to the possessor.

Pat down (Terry Frisk)

Obviously you must have either consent or reasonable suspicion that a person is armed to justify a pat down of their outer garments. In either case, you should expect to find a weapon. Since most of the time, your search does not result in the discovery of weapons, it's easy to become complacent and simply "go through the motions," rather than conduct a thorough and systematic search. This is unacceptable, since missing a weapon even once could have tragic consequences.

Recently, an officer I know conducted a pat down of a parolee without backup (by the way, the parolee had backup). It's hard for me to imagine a scenario where that would be a tactically sound decision. I hate to think of what might have transpired if the parolee had been armed and committed to his cause. A better tactic would be to order the subject(s) to assume a position of disadvantage, such as seated with their ankles crossed and hands on their knees while waiting for backup. Of course, ordering the subject(s) into a prone position while waiting for backup would be a safer alternative if warranted.

Let's assume you have a backup officer present and reasonable suspicion to justify a pat down. While conducting the search, you feel the grip of a pistol in the suspect's front waist area. What's the best tactic? Do you remove it and secure it on your person? Do you take the suspect to the ground and control his arms to prevent him from accessing the pistol? What about pushing the suspect away and drawing your firearm?

Like most aspects of police work, the best response to this dilemma is dependent on several factors, including the actions of the suspect, whether or not the weapon can easily be removed, and your proficiency with unarmed defensive tactic techniques. Through realistic scenario-based training, officers can "test" each of the above responses under stress, without risk of injury or death.

Cover awareness

No discussion involving weapons would be complete without addressing the topic of cover. Cover can be defined as any object that can be positioned between you and a threat that is capable of stopping rounds.

Buildings, vehicles, large trees, even fire hydrants are examples of cover. Whether on or off duty, you should constantly be scanning for suitable cover. Far too many officers have been killed because they did not make use of readily available cover.

Don't wait until rounds are whizzing past your head to start appreciating cover. Next time you walk into the bank, supermarket, gas station, post office, mall etc., look around and take note of objects that would provide adequate cover. This is a great habit to get into and one that could very well save your life someday.

Train hard. Stay safe!
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 10, 2007, 06:24:22 AM
The Force Science News is provided by The Force Science Research Center, a
non-profit institution based at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Subscriptions are free and sent via e-mail. To register for your free,
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click on the registration button. For reprint clearance, please e-mail:
info@forcesciencenews.com.
=======================================

IN THIS ISSUE:

I. DRUNK, DRUGGED, VIOLENCE-PRONE SUSPECTS MOST LIKELY TO BE SHOT BY POLICE

II. UNDERSTANDING & INVESTIGATING OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTINGS: 2 DAYS TOO
VALUABLE TO MISS!


I. DRUNK, DRUGGED, VIOLENCE-PRONE SUSPECTS MOST LIKELY TO BE SHOT BY POLICE

An important new study examines officer-involved shootings from a different
perspective, focusing not on what police bring to these encounters but on
certain behavioral characteristics of the people they most often use deadly
force against.

The research, based on the shooting experiences of one large sheriff's
department in California, shows that subjects who are under the influence
of drugs or alcohol and/or have a history of violence are far more likely
to be on the receiving end of police gunfire.

Specifically, among subjects the sheriff's personnel responded to with
deadly force, those under the influence of drugs were 3 times more likely
to be shot or shot at by officers than those who weren't; intoxicated
suspects 3.4 times more likely than those who were sober; and people with
previous arrests for violent crimes 3.7 times more likely than those
without that history.

"This is the first major study of its kind," says Dr. Bill Lewinski,
executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State
University-Mankato. "It supplies really important data that will help us
more clearly understand the dynamics of force interactions. The more we
know about the factors involved in these confrontations, the better we can
help officers face the challenges that arise out of them."

"Most research on police use of force fails to look at the suspect's
actions or behavior," writes Lt. James McElvain of the Riverside County
(CA) Sheriff's Dept., who conducted the study.

Typically, studies on police shootings explore their frequency, the impact
of policy, the officers' decision-making, and the race or ethnicity of the
cops and suspects involved. Also typically they refer to the subjects who
get shot in these encounters as the "victims."

One prominent academic researcher has gone so far as to conclude that in
cases where the legitimacy of force is challenged, "it appears that in
every instance harm could have been averted by exercising some other
options." In other words, better policies and officer decisions could
prevent police shootings.

This approach, McElvain notes, "overlooks the fact that the citizen also is
making decisions that lead up to the point at which the officer fires his
or her weapon."

Lewinski agrees that past deadly force research too often has reflected "a
biased view and doesn't give us a clear picture of the encounter. In
reality, it is very clear from most investigations, grand jury proceedings,
review board hearings, trials and so on that most officer-involved
shootings in the U.S. are fully justified and result from the officer
shooting in self defense because he or she is victimized by an actual or
threatened assault by the subject."

McElvain's study, titled "Shots Fired: An Examination of Police Shootings
and Citizen Behaviors," was successfully submitted last December as his
dissertation for a PhD in sociology from the University of
California-Riverside.

McElvain, 42, now a patrol lieutenant with 21 years' experience in law
enforcement, has not personally been involved in using deadly force against
a human subject, but he has investigated police shootings in a previous
assignment with internal affairs. During the course work toward his degree,
he took a class on alcohol, drugs, and violence and, reflecting on his
investigative experiences, began to wonder what role these factors might
play in officer confrontations.

"I grabbed 5 years' of data from records at the Sheriff's Dept. and did a
quick calculation of percentages," he told Force Science News recently. He
found that about 70% of the civilians in officer shootings were under some
kind of chemical influence."

With the approval and encouragement of Sheriff Bob Doyle, he ended up
examining 15 years' of data--all instances of officers on the department
delivering gunfire at human beings from 1990-2004, including toxicological
reports and criminal histories. In all, he analyzed 186 shootings,
involving 314 officers and 190 civilians. (The agency currently has some
1,200 sworn personnel on the street and polices a socio-economically
diverse population of more than 500,000.)

Each element of McElvain's study--drugs, alcohol, and violent
background--showed a significantly higher correlation with being shot or
shot at by the police when measured independently against subjects of
shootings who did not have those characteristics. "In combination," he
found, "citizens with prior violent criminal arrest records and who are
under the influence of an intoxicant provide the strongest association with
police shootings."

These correlations proved to be far more significant than race or gender on
either side of the shooting relationship, McElvain reports.

His findings do not surprise him, McElvain says. Obviously both alcohol and
drugs can "disinhibit a person from coherent thinking," and if not spur
aggressive behavior at least contribute to noncompliance that "an officer
can interpret as a threat to his/her immediate safety or that of another."
Sober or drug-free, the subject might "have realized the grave
circumstances he/she was creating, and in turn, cooperated with the
officer, which would have prevented the shooting.

"Arguably, a person who engages in criminal conduct as a matter of routine
and is comfortable with using violence as a means to further his/her
activities is also less likely to be intimidated by the police when
confronted."

McElvain's research is complemented by an FBI study recently published by
the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance under the title "Violent
Encounters." This study, by Dr. Anthony Pinizzotto, Edward Davis, and
Charles Miller III, analyzed 40 attacks by 43 offenders on 50 officers.

About 35% of those offenders reported using alcohol within 2 hours before
committing their assaults; in fact, they had consumed an average of 10
drinks each in that time period. More than 75% said they routinely used
illicit drugs, on average twice a week; nearly half had used drugs within 2
hours before assaulting an officer. Of 13 gang members included in that
study, only 1 indicated no alcohol or drug use prior to the incident being
evaluated, and this was a regular drug and alcohol user who didn't abuse
substances as usual that day because he wanted to be "sharp" while robbing
a bank.

A significant portion of the offenders in the FBI study had a history of
committing violent crimes, including prior assaults on LEOs.

"Both these studies," says Lewinski, "show that officers in deadly force
situations are commonly dealing with individuals who are very difficult to
deal with. The challenge is to try to come up with things that can help
officers 'read' these situations more quickly and then influence subjects
who we know can be only minimally influenced at best to reduce their
threatening behavior.

"More research will be necessary before effective training methods can be
established, but these studies are major steps in broadening our
understanding of the dynamics of dangerous encounters. They also can help
the civilian community understand how complex and difficult force
confrontations can be."

McElvain sees the possibility of some immediate practical applications of
his findings. For example, "If we can identify citizens who are under the
influence and have a history of violence, we may be able to approach them
differently," he told Force Science News. "It may be helpful in those
instances to get a second officer on the scene, armed with less-lethal
force."

Dispatchers can play a vital role in conveying important information by
probing complainants about the sobriety status of suspects and by running
record checks on criminal history and prior contacts when an offender's
name is known, he says.

Advanced training programs may also be able to help officers better pick up
cues to an offender's mental state. "But when you talk about training,
you're talking about money," he says. In agencies where armed encounters
are rare, administrators may not feel this problem represents a training
priority.

Lewinski points out, however, "If we can't figure out better ways for
officers to deal with drunk, drugged, and violence-prone subjects, it not
only is going to be dangerous for those citizens but also for officers who
are victimized by the subjects' impulsiveness and altered state."

Meanwhile, McElvain has plans to mine his research database for more fresh
findings. Among other things, he is currently exploring how officers'
education, age, military experience, gender, race, and prior shooting
involvement may correlate to uses of deadly force, and he wants to map out
how police shootings relate to neighborhood types. "I think there are 5 or
6 different studies to come off of this data," he predicts.

[Our thanks to Tom Aveni, a member of FSRC's Technical Advisory Board, for
alerting us to Lt. McElvain's research project.]
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 13, 2007, 09:36:40 AM
The Force Science News is provided by The Force Science Research Center, a
non-profit institution based at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Subscriptions are free and sent via e-mail. To register for your free,
direct-delivery subscription, please visit www.forcesciencenews.com and
click on the registration button. For reprint clearance, please e-mail:
info@forcesciencenews.com.
=======================================

In this issue:

I. IS EXCITED DELIRIUM A FAKE CONDITION INVENTED TO WHITEWASH ABUSIVE FORCE?
A CRITICAL LOOK AT NPR'S RECENT REPORTS

II. WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE--IN PERSON--ABOUT HOW FSRC'S UNIQUE RESEARCH CAN
HELP YOU SURVIVE ON THE STREET & IN COURT

III. KICKIN' ASS! DR. BILL LEWINSKI ACHIEVES A COVETED 5TH DEGREE BLACK BELT

=======================================

I. IS EXCITED DELIRIUM A FAKE CONDITION INVENTED TO WHITEWASH ABUSIVE FORCE?
A CRITICAL LOOK AT NPR'S RECENT REPORTS

Two perspectives on law enforcement's role in the violent human meltdown
known as excited delirium faced off on National Public Radio recently, in
broadcasts that have themselves become controversial.

On one side in the 2-program report were 2 police critics, a staff lawyer
with the ACLU and the director of a California "watchdog" group called
PoliceWatch. The lawyer denied that ED is a recognized condition and charged
that police are using the term "as a means of whitewashing" excessive force
and "inappropriate use of control techniques" during arrests. The watchdog
rep claimed that law enforcers want to blame "victims" who are
inappropriately "dying at the hands of officers." She said police have a
responsibility to "make sure" that anyone they take into custody "stays
alive, whatever the condition of the person's brain or body temperature or
their agitated state."

Voices on the other side included a neurology professor from the University
of Miami, the former chief medical examiner for San Antonio, and a senior
corporal from Dallas PD with first-hand experience in trying to control
raging ED subjects. The professor said the condition is "definitely
real...the result of a neurochemical imbalance in the brain." The ME said,
"[T]hese people are dying of an overdose of adrenaline" and insisted that
it's wrong to blame the police. And the cop said, "There's no one thing that
simply describes this. One minute a person is fighting and screaming, the
next minute he's dead."

By the time NPR finished its total of less than 13 minutes of air time on
the subject, emails were flying among followers of the ED issue. One
authority, Chris Lawrence, a Canadian police college instructor, a technical
advisor to the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State
University-Mankato, and a columnist for PoliceOne.com, perhaps sums up the
sentiment of many.

NPR's failure to spotlight this thorny topic in depth for its 26 million
listeners, he believes, served only to "stir the pot" of controversy without
illuminating its many perplexities. "No one in the media presents an
in-depth, knowledgeable discussion of this subject even for an hour,"
Lawrence told Force Science News. "A series of sound bites can't do it
justice. It's too complicated. People are left with the impression that no
one knows what's going on, and that's not to anyone's benefit."

If you missed the NPR programs, which aired on more than 800 stations on
2/26 and 2/27, you can read transcripts and listen to the broadcasts at
www.npr.org. Just conduct an in-site search for "excited delirium" and
you'll get to the appropriate links.

Meanwhile, FSN asked Lawrence, who was not involved in NPR's programming, to
address and expand on some of the more provocative highlights of what was
broadcast.

ASSERTION: In questioning ED as a legitimate phenomenon, rather than
something the police are just making up, the ACLU attorney, Eric Balaban,
said, "I know of no reputable medical organization-certainly not the
American Medical Association or the American Psychiatric Association-that
recognizes excited delirium as a medical or mental-health condition."

NPR's reporter Laura Sullivan added: "He's right. Excited delirium is not
recognized by professional medical associations, and you won't find it
listed in the chief psychiatric reference book. The International
Association of Chiefs of Police hasn't accepted it either, saying not enough
information is known."

RESPONSE: Descriptions of the symptoms that characterize ED have appeared in
medical literature under various names, including Bell's Mania and fatal
catatonia, for more than a century, Lawrence says. "Excited delirium" is
fairly recent terminology, "but it is not a problem that is new."

The literature search that was made when the Psychiatric Assn. compiled its
latest edition of the 980-page Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders (DSM-IV TR, "the chief psychiatric reference book" cited on NPR)
was cut off in 1996, Lawrence says--more than a decade ago.

"If you do an online search today at the website PubMed, provided by the
National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, you'll
find at least 20 articles on ED from professional medical journals," the
vast majority of which were published after the DSM cut-off.

"For the last 10 years, the National Association of Medical Examiners has
said ED is real and has recognized it as a problem. They've published a
position paper that repeatedly references it in the context of cocaine abuse
and, in some cases, the failure of mental patients to take prescribed
psychotropic drugs. This is not something we're making up. Saying it doesn't
exist doesn't contribute to solutions for dealing with it."

[For more details of ED in medical literature, see archives of Lawrence's
columns at www.policeone.com. The NAME position paper was authored by 4 MDs
and a PhD and appeared in The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and
Pathology, Mar. 2004.]

ASSERTION: By blaming ED, authorities in effect "want the victim to be
looked at as the cause of his or her own death," PoliceWatch director Dawn
Edwards charged on NPR. "The bottom line is that these people are dying at
the hands of, or in the custody of, police officers." In her view, it's a
police responsibility to assure that anyone taken into custody "stays alive."

RESPONSE: During one of the broadcasts, the former ME, Dr. Vincent Di Maio,
who has written a textbook on ED, challenged Edwards' position. Civil
liberties groups are wrong in blaming officers for ED deaths, he said. "They
buy into this mode that if somebody dies, somebody's got to be responsible.
And of course it can't be the person who's high on coke and meth," even
though drug abuse appears to be closely associated with many ED episodes.

Lawrence points out that deaths ascribed to ED have occurred even in
hospitals with the most sophisticated medical intervention immediately at
hand. To expect guaranteed life preservation from officers attempting to
deal with an out-of-control offender on the street is wholly unrealistic.

Professionals knowledgeable about ED agree that it needs to be viewed
ultimately as a medical problem, he says. "But this condition is a very
complicated event. It involves multiple body mechanisms. The breakdown of
any one of these by itself could result in death. Even the efforts of a
highly trained physician may not prevent the subject from dying.

"By the time police are called, the ED subject may be deep into mental and
physical distress, possibly at an irreversible intensity. We're dispatching
a first responder who generally has a first aid certificate. He may never
have seen ED before or even recognize what it is. And we're supposed to say,
'Now you handle this very complicated event, with your first-aid skills, and
by the way, we're going to hold you solely responsible if he dies'? How
realistic is that?"

By pointing out certain factors, such as drug usage and mental illness, that
seem commonly associated with ED episodes, Lawrence says, "we're not trying
to blame the 'victim.' We are trying to better understand the person
experiencing excited delirium and to identify things about him that may
assist everyone in helping him to survive."

ASSERTION: NPR's Sullivan stated during the second program that the debate
about ED "becomes more complicated" because TASERs are often involved when
officers try to control physically violent subjects who end up dying. "Civil
liberties groups fear that the diagnosis is being used" not only to "cover
up police abuse" but also to "protect companies like Taser International
from lawsuits," she said. "Taser may have financial reasons to support-and
even encourage-the use of the excited delirium diagnosis."

RESPONSE: In the view of Lawrence, a DT instructor, the deployment of TASERs
is not so diabolical. "Electronic control devices provide a modern, prompt,
humane method of restraint" in many ED situations, he says. "Physical force
and technology that depend on pain compliance tend not to work because these
subjects don't seem to feel pain. Mechanical leverage techniques that lock
up the joints can be difficult to apply because ED people are very, very
strong and they won't let you do it.

"With an ECD, you can cause them to lose control of the muscles that
maintain balance, and they fall down. This can provide a very brief window
of opportunity to quickly get them handcuffed and to secure their legs with
a strap device to minimize kicking and effectively establish some control.
You end up with fewer injuries both to the suspect and to the officers
involved."

The TASER is just the latest scapegoat blamed for causing ED deaths,
Lawrence says. He cites the recent testimony of Dr. Christine Hall, a
Canadian ER physician and ED researcher, at a coroner's inquest into the
death of a psychiatric patient who was TASERed while in a highly agitated
state.

Hall testified that when people in this state died while being restrained by
the police in the 1970s, the blame was often placed on baton use. In the
1980s, it was multiple-officer restraint and "positional asphyxia." In the
1990s, it was pepper spray. Now it's the TASER.

"The blame shifts as tactics and technology change and police critics
continue to look for something other than the condition itself as the cause
of death," Lawrence says.

Whatever the mode, the goal of police intervention, he stresses, is to
control dangerous behavior, to get ED subjects "assessed by someone with
more medical training than a police officer has, and to get him transported
to a place of sophisticated medical treatment. You are not going to get any
medical assistance until control has been established. There's no way around
this point.

"Even if you could drive a doctor to the scene and say, 'You manage this,'
nothing could be done until the subject is stabilized, and stabilization
requires restraint. At some point someone has to take control of the
individual, unless he somehow gets back to reality on his own and says, 'I'm
going to let you help me,' and that's not a very likely development with
people who are dying in excited delirium."

ASSERTION: The ACLU's Balaban expressed concern that the messages police
receive about ED may actually exacerbate confrontations. If officers are
being told in training that ED subjects "have superhuman strength," he
speculated, officers may treat them "as if they are somehow not human,"
leading "officers to escalate situations."

RESPONSE: The fact is, Lawrence says, that the display of extremely abnormal
strength is one of the characteristics that makes a subject who's
experiencing ED so difficult to control.

Indeed, Sr. Cpl. Herb Cotner of Dallas PD, interviewed by NPR, told of ED
manifesting itself by "someone doing pushups with two 150-pound officers on
their back." He described one ED experience in which the subject smashed
through a plate-glass window, fell from a fence, broke his leg several
times--and still walked 2 blocks to fight with police. Another confrontation
involved a handicapped individual who "dragged us across a parking lot."

Lawrence observes: "That may not be the way the ACLU would like it to be,
but the truth is the truth. Officers must be trained for reality."

Next month [4/07] during a 2-day Force Science seminar in London, England,
Lawrence will present a briefing on ED for European police officials and
attorney Bill Everett, also an FSRC Board Member, will speak on managing the
media during high-profile, controversial incidents, such as a death by ED.

The interest abroad in this topic, "indicates that this is a problem that is
international in scope," says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of FSRC.
For more information on this program and instructions on how to register for
it, go to: http://www.forcescience.org/training/seminars/

[NOTE: Force Science News has transmitted 9 articles dealing with excited
delirium since this newsletter was founded in 2004. To review them for a
broader understanding of the subject, go to:
http://www.forcesciencenews.com/home/search.html and enter "excited
delirium" in our archival search engine.]

Our thanks to Wayne Schmidt, executive director of Americans for Effective
Law Enforcement, for tipping us about the NPR series.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: sgtmac_46 on April 05, 2007, 02:07:42 PM
The Force Science News is provided by The Force Science Research Center, a
non-profit institution based at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Subscriptions are free and sent via e-mail. To register for your free,
direct-delivery subscription, please visit www.forcesciencenews.com and
click on the registration button. For reprint clearance, please e-mail:
info@forcesciencenews.com.
=======================================

In this issue:

I. IS EXCITED DELIRIUM A FAKE CONDITION INVENTED TO WHITEWASH ABUSIVE FORCE?
A CRITICAL LOOK AT NPR'S RECENT REPORTS

II. WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE--IN PERSON--ABOUT HOW FSRC'S UNIQUE RESEARCH CAN
HELP YOU SURVIVE ON THE STREET & IN COURT

III. KICKIN' ASS! DR. BILL LEWINSKI ACHIEVES A COVETED 5TH DEGREE BLACK BELT

=======================================

I. IS EXCITED DELIRIUM A FAKE CONDITION INVENTED TO WHITEWASH ABUSIVE FORCE?
A CRITICAL LOOK AT NPR'S RECENT REPORTS

Two perspectives on law enforcement's role in the violent human meltdown
known as excited delirium faced off on National Public Radio recently, in
broadcasts that have themselves become controversial.

On one side in the 2-program report were 2 police critics, a staff lawyer
with the ACLU and the director of a California "watchdog" group called
PoliceWatch. The lawyer denied that ED is a recognized condition and charged
that police are using the term "as a means of whitewashing" excessive force
and "inappropriate use of control techniques" during arrests. The watchdog
rep claimed that law enforcers want to blame "victims" who are
inappropriately "dying at the hands of officers." She said police have a
responsibility to "make sure" that anyone they take into custody "stays
alive, whatever the condition of the person's brain or body temperature or
their agitated state."

Voices on the other side included a neurology professor from the University
of Miami, the former chief medical examiner for San Antonio, and a senior
corporal from Dallas PD with first-hand experience in trying to control
raging ED subjects. The professor said the condition is "definitely
real...the result of a neurochemical imbalance in the brain." The ME said,
"[T]hese people are dying of an overdose of adrenaline" and insisted that
it's wrong to blame the police. And the cop said, "There's no one thing that
simply describes this. One minute a person is fighting and screaming, the
next minute he's dead."

By the time NPR finished its total of less than 13 minutes of air time on
the subject, emails were flying among followers of the ED issue. One
authority, Chris Lawrence, a Canadian police college instructor, a technical
advisor to the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State
University-Mankato, and a columnist for PoliceOne.com, perhaps sums up the
sentiment of many.

NPR's failure to spotlight this thorny topic in depth for its 26 million
listeners, he believes, served only to "stir the pot" of controversy without
illuminating its many perplexities. "No one in the media presents an
in-depth, knowledgeable discussion of this subject even for an hour,"
Lawrence told Force Science News. "A series of sound bites can't do it
justice. It's too complicated. People are left with the impression that no
one knows what's going on, and that's not to anyone's benefit."

If you missed the NPR programs, which aired on more than 800 stations on
2/26 and 2/27, you can read transcripts and listen to the broadcasts at
www.npr.org. Just conduct an in-site search for "excited delirium" and
you'll get to the appropriate links.

Meanwhile, FSN asked Lawrence, who was not involved in NPR's programming, to
address and expand on some of the more provocative highlights of what was
broadcast.

ASSERTION: In questioning ED as a legitimate phenomenon, rather than
something the police are just making up, the ACLU attorney, Eric Balaban,
said, "I know of no reputable medical organization-certainly not the
American Medical Association or the American Psychiatric Association-that
recognizes excited delirium as a medical or mental-health condition."

NPR's reporter Laura Sullivan added: "He's right. Excited delirium is not
recognized by professional medical associations, and you won't find it
listed in the chief psychiatric reference book. The International
Association of Chiefs of Police hasn't accepted it either, saying not enough
information is known."

RESPONSE: Descriptions of the symptoms that characterize ED have appeared in
medical literature under various names, including Bell's Mania and fatal
catatonia, for more than a century, Lawrence says. "Excited delirium" is
fairly recent terminology, "but it is not a problem that is new."

The literature search that was made when the Psychiatric Assn. compiled its
latest edition of the 980-page Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders (DSM-IV TR, "the chief psychiatric reference book" cited on NPR)
was cut off in 1996, Lawrence says--more than a decade ago.

"If you do an online search today at the website PubMed, provided by the
National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, you'll
find at least 20 articles on ED from professional medical journals," the
vast majority of which were published after the DSM cut-off.

"For the last 10 years, the National Association of Medical Examiners has
said ED is real and has recognized it as a problem. They've published a
position paper that repeatedly references it in the context of cocaine abuse
and, in some cases, the failure of mental patients to take prescribed
psychotropic drugs. This is not something we're making up. Saying it doesn't
exist doesn't contribute to solutions for dealing with it."

[For more details of ED in medical literature, see archives of Lawrence's
columns at www.policeone.com. The NAME position paper was authored by 4 MDs
and a PhD and appeared in The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and
Pathology, Mar. 2004.]

ASSERTION: By blaming ED, authorities in effect "want the victim to be
looked at as the cause of his or her own death," PoliceWatch director Dawn
Edwards charged on NPR. "The bottom line is that these people are dying at
the hands of, or in the custody of, police officers." In her view, it's a
police responsibility to assure that anyone taken into custody "stays alive."

RESPONSE: During one of the broadcasts, the former ME, Dr. Vincent Di Maio,
who has written a textbook on ED, challenged Edwards' position. Civil
liberties groups are wrong in blaming officers for ED deaths, he said. "They
buy into this mode that if somebody dies, somebody's got to be responsible.
And of course it can't be the person who's high on coke and meth," even
though drug abuse appears to be closely associated with many ED episodes.

Lawrence points out that deaths ascribed to ED have occurred even in
hospitals with the most sophisticated medical intervention immediately at
hand. To expect guaranteed life preservation from officers attempting to
deal with an out-of-control offender on the street is wholly unrealistic.

Professionals knowledgeable about ED agree that it needs to be viewed
ultimately as a medical problem, he says. "But this condition is a very
complicated event. It involves multiple body mechanisms. The breakdown of
any one of these by itself could result in death. Even the efforts of a
highly trained physician may not prevent the subject from dying.

"By the time police are called, the ED subject may be deep into mental and
physical distress, possibly at an irreversible intensity. We're dispatching
a first responder who generally has a first aid certificate. He may never
have seen ED before or even recognize what it is. And we're supposed to say,
'Now you handle this very complicated event, with your first-aid skills, and
by the way, we're going to hold you solely responsible if he dies'? How
realistic is that?"

By pointing out certain factors, such as drug usage and mental illness, that
seem commonly associated with ED episodes, Lawrence says, "we're not trying
to blame the 'victim.' We are trying to better understand the person
experiencing excited delirium and to identify things about him that may
assist everyone in helping him to survive."

ASSERTION: NPR's Sullivan stated during the second program that the debate
about ED "becomes more complicated" because TASERs are often involved when
officers try to control physically violent subjects who end up dying. "Civil
liberties groups fear that the diagnosis is being used" not only to "cover
up police abuse" but also to "protect companies like Taser International
from lawsuits," she said. "Taser may have financial reasons to support-and
even encourage-the use of the excited delirium diagnosis."

RESPONSE: In the view of Lawrence, a DT instructor, the deployment of TASERs
is not so diabolical. "Electronic control devices provide a modern, prompt,
humane method of restraint" in many ED situations, he says. "Physical force
and technology that depend on pain compliance tend not to work because these
subjects don't seem to feel pain. Mechanical leverage techniques that lock
up the joints can be difficult to apply because ED people are very, very
strong and they won't let you do it.

"With an ECD, you can cause them to lose control of the muscles that
maintain balance, and they fall down. This can provide a very brief window
of opportunity to quickly get them handcuffed and to secure their legs with
a strap device to minimize kicking and effectively establish some control.
You end up with fewer injuries both to the suspect and to the officers
involved."

The TASER is just the latest scapegoat blamed for causing ED deaths,
Lawrence says. He cites the recent testimony of Dr. Christine Hall, a
Canadian ER physician and ED researcher, at a coroner's inquest into the
death of a psychiatric patient who was TASERed while in a highly agitated
state.

Hall testified that when people in this state died while being restrained by
the police in the 1970s, the blame was often placed on baton use. In the
1980s, it was multiple-officer restraint and "positional asphyxia." In the
1990s, it was pepper spray. Now it's the TASER.

"The blame shifts as tactics and technology change and police critics
continue to look for something other than the condition itself as the cause
of death," Lawrence says.

Whatever the mode, the goal of police intervention, he stresses, is to
control dangerous behavior, to get ED subjects "assessed by someone with
more medical training than a police officer has, and to get him transported
to a place of sophisticated medical treatment. You are not going to get any
medical assistance until control has been established. There's no way around
this point.

"Even if you could drive a doctor to the scene and say, 'You manage this,'
nothing could be done until the subject is stabilized, and stabilization
requires restraint. At some point someone has to take control of the
individual, unless he somehow gets back to reality on his own and says, 'I'm
going to let you help me,' and that's not a very likely development with
people who are dying in excited delirium."

ASSERTION: The ACLU's Balaban expressed concern that the messages police
receive about ED may actually exacerbate confrontations. If officers are
being told in training that ED subjects "have superhuman strength," he
speculated, officers may treat them "as if they are somehow not human,"
leading "officers to escalate situations."

RESPONSE: The fact is, Lawrence says, that the display of extremely abnormal
strength is one of the characteristics that makes a subject who's
experiencing ED so difficult to control.

Indeed, Sr. Cpl. Herb Cotner of Dallas PD, interviewed by NPR, told of ED
manifesting itself by "someone doing pushups with two 150-pound officers on
their back." He described one ED experience in which the subject smashed
through a plate-glass window, fell from a fence, broke his leg several
times--and still walked 2 blocks to fight with police. Another confrontation
involved a handicapped individual who "dragged us across a parking lot."

Lawrence observes: "That may not be the way the ACLU would like it to be,
but the truth is the truth. Officers must be trained for reality."

Next month [4/07] during a 2-day Force Science seminar in London, England,
Lawrence will present a briefing on ED for European police officials and
attorney Bill Everett, also an FSRC Board Member, will speak on managing the
media during high-profile, controversial incidents, such as a death by ED.

The interest abroad in this topic, "indicates that this is a problem that is
international in scope," says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of FSRC.
For more information on this program and instructions on how to register for
it, go to: http://www.forcescience.org/training/seminars/

[NOTE: Force Science News has transmitted 9 articles dealing with excited
delirium since this newsletter was founded in 2004. To review them for a
broader understanding of the subject, go to:
http://www.forcesciencenews.com/home/search.html and enter "excited
delirium" in our archival search engine.]

Our thanks to Wayne Schmidt, executive director of Americans for Effective
Law Enforcement, for tipping us about the NPR series.
It's easy for the lawyers of the ACLU and AI to sit in their ivory towers of academia and tell me what they don't want me to do.  I'm still waiting for Amnesty International and the ACLU to come out in the field and demonstrate to me the proper way to restrain someone high on PCP who is attacking my officers.  I'm waiting for that class, but not holding my breath.  In Missouri we have a saying....'Show Me'. 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 11, 2007, 10:11:53 AM
Cover: Myths, realities & the importance of spotting it early
By Mike Rayburn
Adjunct Instructor, Smith & Wesson Academy
If an officer is able to reach cover during a shooting situation and use it effectively, then the chances of that officer surviving the incident are greatly increased. Given this fact, it only makes sense that we should be locating — and when necessary using — cover whenever possible. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done.
The biggest problem with trying to use cover is that in many cases, there is no cover available to the officer. [In fact, in the "Cover" section of the Force Science News article, New study: We're getting better prepared to win on the street and in court, it's reported that only 15% of officers polled in a new study on officer-involved shootings had the luxury of using cover. The rest were caught unprotected and even if they tried to move to cover, they didn’t have time to reach it before the shooting was over.] We work in close proximity to the people we deal with on a daily basis. Whether we’re making a field interview contact, handling a domestic, handcuffing an arrested person, or just generally dealing with the public, we have to get in close to these people to interact with them. This is true whether this interaction results in some type of enforcement action or not.



When was the last time you asked the operator of a motor vehicle for his driver’s license from 21 feet away? Or how about trying to handcuff someone from 10 feet away? I know it sounds silly, but I’m trying to make a point. We deal in close proximity to people on a daily, almost routine, basis. It’s that word “routine” that tends to bite us in the nether regions. We tend to forget about looking for cover during the contact should things suddenly go bad and we need it.

This brings me to the second biggest problem with cover. Most officers don’t think about it until it’s too late. The time to start thinking about cover and how you’re going to move to it is not when a gunfight erupts. The time to think about cover is always…to constantly have it in the back of your head. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you should always have a sense of what cover is available to you and how you can move to it.

Once you’ve determined the cover available to you, you have to decide whether you’re going to be able to move to it quickly under stress should a shooting occur. A concrete wall across the street is good, but a big tree three steps away from you is better. If there isn’t cover available, which unfortunately is the case in a lot of officer-involved shootings, then at the very least, you should move. Movement in a gunfight is essential.
If you’re behind cover, stay there and use it effectively. Remember, a large percentage of officers who do this survive shooting incidents. So if you’ve got cover and you’re using it, the odds are in your favor.

Another aspect to consider when talking about cover is visualization -- planting a mental image in your head as to where that cover is located and how you’re going to move to it quickly and with sure footing. This will better prepare you to act quickly if things suddenly go bad. If you don’t have that image pre-planted in your brain, it’s not going to come to you when you’re suddenly under fire. Your brain will be too occupied with processing everything else going on to think about what is—and isn’t—cover and how to move to it.

A simple way to demonstrate this fact is to set up a training scenario where an officer has to walk past simulated cover placed off to the side during an approach to a “subject”. The cover should be placed such that the officer must move backwards and laterally to reach it once he is within close proximity of this subject.
Now have the officer walk up to the “subject” with his or her handgun holstered and as he gets to within a yard or two of the mock person, yell “fire!”

If the officer didn’t already make a mental note of where that cover was, he or she will turn their head and look for it as they’re shooting and moving backwards. No problem, right? WRONG! Do you really think that during a firefight, with someone shooting at you from three to six feet away, you’re going to be able to take your eyes off the shooter to look around for cover?

Now have that same officer go through the course again, but this time have him make sure to mentally note the cover and where it’s located before the drill begins. If he does this, you’ll see him move flawlessly to it, without ever taking his eyes off of the target. It’s as simple as that. Just a quick mental note.

This is so simple that you can practice this mental imagery in the comfort of your own home. Stand directly in front of your television set. (Do this when the kids aren’t home so you don’t have to listen to the complaints.) Now without looking, move back to your sofa without tripping over the coffee table, while keeping your eyes fixed on the television set. Easy right?

Now have someone move the coffee table to one side or the other. If you don’t make a mental note of where that coffee table is, you’re going to trip over it as you try to move back to the sofa.

It’s the same thing on the street. If you don’t make a mental note of where that cover is, you will not be able to move to it smoothly and flawlessly while keeping your eyes on the threat.

One last thing about looking for cover: the first place you should look for it is on your strong side. Why? Because for most of us, this will be the side you automatically (dare I say “instinctively”) move to under stress. To prove this, run a force-on-force scenario.

Have the bad guy suited up in his protective gear with a rubber knife. Have the officer stand approximately 10-12 feet, (the average distance in an edged weapon attack), away from the bad guy with his Simunitions or Air Soft gun in his holster. Tell the officer that he or she is required to move laterally, (because moving backwards is too slow and awkward) to one side or the other and fire some rounds into the charging assailant.
Now, without warning, have the suited up aggressor run at the officer. You’ll see for yourself that well over 99% of the time officers will move to their strong side. They do this automatically without ever being told, or trained, to do so. If this is the case, then we need to train our officers to look for cover on their strong sides first, and then look for additional cover from there.

If you doubt the validity of this drill, let me give you one last fact. Get up and walk over to a set of stairs. Your first step up will be with your strong side foot. Walk a little further away from those same stairs and try it again. Your first step up will be with your strong side foot. We do this automatically and instinctively. If this is the case, then why not train this way? Why not train the way we’re going to fight.
Keep these facts, and problems, about cover in mind whenever you’re dealing with anyone, and you’ll win that fight.

About the author: Michael T. Rayburn is a 29-year veteran of Law Enforcement and is currently an adjunct instructor at the Smith & Wesson Academy. He is the author of three books, Advanced Vehicle Stop Tactics, Basic Gunfighting 101.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 13, 2007, 08:04:01 AM
The camera doesn't lie, right? Wel-l-l-l-l-l-l........

Force Science News #76
July 13, 2007


   
======




Brief, dark, and grainy, the video image is a punch to the gut.

A California sheriff's deputy trying to detain a subject who's on the ground after a high-speed chase says to him, "Get up! Get up!" The man says, "Ok, I'm gonna get up," and starts to rise. Without another word, the deputy shoots him, 3 times in quick succession.

With millions of others, you probably became a vicarious eye-witness when the scene was telecast over and over world-wide. Be honest. The man complied with an officer's command, and the shooting was not an unintentional discharge. Didn't it look like a slam-dunk case of egregious abuse of force?

Late last month [6/28/07], after less than 4 hours' deliberation following a trial that lasted over a month, a jury acquitted the deputy, Ivory Webb Jr., of attempted voluntary manslaughter and firearms assault. The charges could have sent him to prison for 18 years. For people who knew nothing more about the case than what they'd seen on TV or the Internet, the verdict seemed a puzzlement, if not an outrageous miscarriage of justice.

But jurors said the tale of the video took on a whole different flavor when considered in context with circumstances that were little known publicly until Webb's trial.

Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato, was part of the defense team. He was brought into the case "to explain the human factors behind the shooting," based on his expertise as a behavioral scientist and on FSRC's unique studies of lethal-force dynamics.

In a recent interview with Force Science News, Lewinski reprised his courtroom testimony and his insider's knowledge of the pressure-cooker confrontation that embroiled Ivory Webb and resulted in his becoming the first LEO ever charged criminally for an on-duty shooting in the history of San Bernardino County.

"It was important to paint a picture of what happened from Webb's perspective," Lewinski says. "The video was so vivid, so seemingly clear-cut, that people didn't properly factor in what led up to the shooting."

The Players. Ivory Webb was 46 years old at the time of the shooting, a former college football player (Rose Bowl '82), the son of a retired California police chief, and a veteran of nearly 10 years with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. Most of his career had been spent as a jail officer. Although he'd been on the street for over 4 years, "he had never been the primary officer on a felony vehicle stop," Lewinski says. "He performed pretty much as a backup officer."

The subjects he confronted at the shooting scene were Luis Escobedo, 22, who had a rap sheet from previous run-ins with police and would later be arrested for CCW, and Elio Carrion, 21, an Air Force senior airman and security officer.

The Chase. On the last weekend night in January, 2006, Luis Escobedo and Elio Carrion were at a late-night barbeque in Montclair, east of Los Angeles, celebrating Carrion's recent return from a 6-month stint in Iraq. They'd been "heavily" consuming beer and tequila when they decided to take a fellow partygoer's Corvette for a spin. Both had blood alcohol levels of more than double the state's legal limit.

Escobedo took the wheel (although he had no driver's license) and on a "lightly trafficked industrial road" near some railroad tracks, he opened up the sleek muscle car to see how fast it would go. Soon they passed a San Bernardino deputy who gave pursuit but couldn't keep up.

Webb, returning to patrol from another call, heard radio traffic about the chase and moments later saw the Corvette "coming directly at me. If I hadn't swerved into the other lane, they would have smashed right into me."

Webb barreled after them and soon was driving over 100 mph to keep up. The Corvette screeched around a corner, caromed off curbs, and at one point "spun around and came directly at me a second time." Before colliding, it suddenly smoked into a U-turn and wove wildly from one side of the street to another, then crashed into a cinder block wall facing opposing traffic and "hung up there." The chase had ended in the municipality of Chino.

When Webb pulled up, the vehicle was shaking as the occupants tried to force the doors open, he said. The trunk lid had popped up from the impact, blocking the view from behind. He nosed in slightly toward the right rear of the Corvette and stepped out of his patrol car.

The Confrontation. "Considering that they'd played chicken with him twice and had shown no regard for human safety with their reckless speeding, Webb reasonably assessed the car's occupants as really dangerous," Lewinski says. "He had his full uniform on, his overheads were flashing, and he had his gun and flashlight out, so there was no mistaking his authority.

"Carrion began to exit the vehicle and took a step in the direction of Webb's patrol car. Webb ordered him to show his hands clearly. Carrion didn't. Webb ordered him to get down. Carrion didn't. Inside the vehicle, Escobedo kept reaching his hands into areas Webb could not see." The deputy's commands to both subjects were repeated in a stream, with no compliance. In his frustration and concern, Webb ratcheted up his language with liberal infusions of profanity.

At trial a retired LASD lieutenant testified as a tactical expert for the prosecution and condemned Webb for not remaining "calm and assertive," as officers are trained to do. But Lewinski took Webb's words out of the context of antiseptic Monday morning quarterbacking and put them in the context of his on-the-spot fears.

The chase had led the deputy into an unfamiliar section of Chino and, essentially, "he was lost," Lewinski says. He knew the street he was on but in the blur of the pursuit he'd had a hard time tracking the cross streets. Several times he named the nearest intersection incorrectly when radioing for help. Deputies trying to reach him sometimes cited directions and their own locations erroneously, too.

The two suspects could overhear the radio jabber. "Webb knew that they knew his back up couldn't find him and that he was all alone with two drunken young men who were not complying with any of his orders," Lewinski says.

The pair was physically separated, so Webb constantly had to shift his focus and his flashlight from one to the other to keep tabs on their actions. And they kept trying verbally to intimidate him, Lewinski explains. "Carrion at one point told the deputy, 'I've spent more time than you in the fuckin' police, in the fuckin' military.'

"Webb recognized all this from his jail experience as a common tactic among gangbangers: separate, keep up a barrage of chatter to distract, then attack. Webb ordered them to shut up, but they didn't."

At a point when Carrion had gotten within his reactionary gap, Webb kicked him to take him to the ground. (The prosecution's expert would claim later that police are not trained to kick suspects because it puts them off-balance. But Lewinski points out that in fact kicks and leg strikes are common staples in contemporary defensive tactics.) On the ground, Carrion was propped up on his arms, "controlled to some degree" but not proned out like Webb wanted.

The grinding crash of the speeding Corvette against the wall and the flashing lights and all the yelling that followed had alerted a used car salesman living across the street that something worth filming was going down. He grabbed his Sony digital zoom camera and started recording after Carrion climbed out of the car.

This man, a Cuban refugee, was wanted on old felony warrants for aggravated assault in Florida. His past would surface after his sensational footage saturated the airwaves.

But for now, his camera was about to capture what photographers call "the money shot."

The Shooting. When the video was first reviewed and broadcast, the figures of Webb and Carrion could be grossly seen on the darkened street, the deputy with his gun out standing over the semi-grounded suspect. But subtleties were hard to distinguish. The audio track, too, was tough to make out, although what could be heard sounded discouragingly incriminating.
Carrion: We're here on your side. We mean you no harm.
Webb: OK, get up! (inaudible) Get up!
Carrion: OK, I'm just gonna get up.

Carrion starts to move up. Three shots ring out from Webb's .45. Carrion is hit in the left shoulder, the left thigh, and the left ribs. He's critically wounded but survives.

The digital recording was "enhanced" by an FBI laboratory to reveal more visual detail. Through ultra-sophisticated technology of David Notowitz, a video expert engaged by Webb's attorneys, it was then enhanced even further, to the point that images were recovered from a section of the recording that seemingly had been completely whited out by the amateur cameraman ineptly fiddling with the controls.

Webb had experienced difficulty articulating precisely what happened just before he started shooting. In Lewinski's opinion, he suffered memory problems that are not uncommon after high-intensity officer-involved shootings. "But when the enhanced footage was slowed down and time coded so we could study the action fragment by fragment, I became convinced he was reacting instinctively to a legitimate perceived threat."

As Carrion braces on his hands, resistant to going fully to the ground, he first can be seen jabbing a hand up toward Webb's gun. The weapon is well within his grasp, but he quickly lowers his hand without attempting a grab.

Then the video confirms that he twice reaches his hand inside his black Raiders jacket. Carrion would claim on the witness stand that he was just pointing to his chest. "But the enhanced image shows his hand buried in the jacket up to the knuckles," Lewinski says. "It was definitely inside."

Less than a second later, Webb jerks his gun barrel up slightly as if motioning with it as he commands, "Get up! Get up!"

"He's talking to the hand, focusing on it," Lewinski says. "What I sincerely believe he was thinking was, 'Get your hand up,' meaning get it away from where you may have a weapon hidden and out where I can see it. But the words came out different than his thought.

"Some of our studies have shown that when officers feel they are in control of a situation, they tend to give clear and relevant commands. But when they feel out of control, their commands often deteriorate. For Ivory Webb, that was an enormously stressful situation and there was nothing he felt in control of.

"Under stress and time compression, people commonly experience slips between thought and speech." En Route to the trial, for example, Lewinski asked a harried airline ticket agent for directions to a travelers' lounge. "Down there," she said-and pointed up. Even the prosecutor while cross-examining Lewinski misspoke in referencing something, and apologized for it. "It's easy to do, isn't it?" Lewinski softly replied.

Lewinski cited a case of an officer who, facing a suspect with a knife, repeatedly shouted "Show me your hands!" even though both hands were visible. The officer was trying to say "Drop the knife" but "resorted to familiar commands from his training under stress," Lewinski explained.

In the uncertain and rapidly evolving circumstances on the street in Chino, Carrion reaching into his jacket had "extremely threatening implications," Lewinski says. "He turned out not to be armed, but Webb couldn't know that. For the first time in the encounter, Carrion obeyed the command he heard. He began to rise up and a little forward, like starting to lunge. Webb had already made the decision to fire, thinking his life was in jeopardy, and pulled the trigger."

A tactics expert who volunteered for the defense, Sgt. Kenton Ferrin of Inglewood (CA) PD, said he would have shot under the same circumstances. Webb "thought he was going to die," Ferrin testified.

The prosecutor's expert, however, asserted that each of Webb's shots was a deliberate decision, bolstering the contention that the deputy in effect had committed a cold, calculating execution. But Lewinski pointed out that the time-coded video enhancement showed there was just 6/10 of a second between each round. He explained that FSRC's time-and-motion studies had proven that in that tight sequencing, with both the officer and the subject moving slightly, there's no possibility of conscious decision-making prompting each shot. "At that point, after the first round, it was just an instinctive process."

"The purpose of Dr. Lewinski's testimony," says Webb's attorney Michael Schwartz of the Santa Monica law firm Silver, Hadden, Silver, Wexler and Levine, "was to help the jury see that behavior the prosecution considered grounds for suspicion and criminal action could, in fact, be understood as common human behavior in circumstances of extreme stress."

The Outcome. The first poll inside the jury room was 11 for acquittal, 1 for conviction. The dissenter soon changed his mind. When the verdict was announced, Ivory Webb burst into tears and praised God.

That was just the first of the legal challenges he faces. Elio Carrion and his family have asked federal authorities to bring criminal charges against Webb, and a civil suit has of course been filed.

Meanwhile, with cell phone cameras and camcorders proliferating, a profusion of controversial police actions seems destined in days ahead to be seen and judged by millions who understand little about them.

After the Webb verdict, a reporter for the Associated Press interviewed Eugene O'Donnell, a former cop and prosecutor who now teaches police studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

"Videos are drenched with caveats," O'Donnell cautioned. "One thing we've learned about videos is that there are often missing pieces."


================

The Force Science News is provided by The Force Science Research Center, a non-profit institution based at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Subscriptions are free and sent via e-mail. To register for your free, direct-delivery subscription, please visit www.forcesciencenews.com and click on the registration button.

(c) 2007: Force Science Research Center, www.forcescience.org.
 
Title: Heroic action in NYC
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 15, 2007, 05:02:55 AM
GUNFIGHT COP A SUPER HERO

KEPT COOL & KEPT FIRING DESPITE BULLET WOUNDS


By LEELA de KRETSER, Additional reporting by LORENA MONGELLI, MURRAY WEISS and LARRY CELONA
 
Officers Herman Yan, 26 (top), and Russel Timoshenko, 23, approach a stolen SUV on Rogers Avenue — parking their car next to a trash can so Timoshenko has cover if he is fired at. But the perps would wait until he was past the can before shooting.







July 11, 2007 -- Cool-headed cop Herman Yan went into autopilot - and followed his NYPD training to the letter - as he ignored the bullets raining down on him and fired back at the gunmen who had brutally shot his partner twice in the face, police experts said yesterday.
Supercop Yan, bleeding profusely after he was struck by a bullet in the arm and reeling after taking a slug in his bulletproof vest, showed no fear as he faced down the thugs who had gravely wounded his partner, Russel Timoshenko, just seconds before.
Three seconds after Timoshenko fell to the ground, exclusive surveillance footage clearly shows the 26-year-old Yan backing down the street as he fires at the stolen BMW X5 that he and Timoshenko had pulled over on Rogers Avenue just after 2:15 a.m.
With nothing to shelter him from the gunfire, Yan is seen on the tape ducking and weaving, trying to keep his body small so it would not be struck by the fusillade, said several experts who reviewed the video for The Post.
"It's all about cover and concealment. He had no cover in front of him, so he did everything he could to keep his body a small moving target," said retired NYPD Detective Mike Charles.
As the perpetrators keep shooting at him, Yan sizes up the situation, and determines that his best move is to get back to the radio car.
All the while, his thoughts are obviously on getting to his partner to try to save his life, said Charles.
Seconds pass before he is seen calmly radioing for assistance - calling in the key details that would help authorities quickly identify two suspects.
The brave officer even refuses to give in to his injuries as he tries to make his way to his partner to check on Timoshenko's condition. In one frame, Yan is seen falling to the ground, clutching his bleeding arm - but before his body touches the asphalt, he jumps back to his feet and continues to head toward his partner.



Yan, released from Kings County Hospital yesterday, said of his gravely ill partner, "I believe in miracles.
"I hope he recovers fully. I will recover fully and be back on the street again. I hope the same thing happens to him."
Yan, his right arm in a sling, added, "I feel fine."
Asked about the bulletproof vest credited with saving his life, Yan said, "Always put it on."
Detective Charles, who spent 20 years on the force and now trains police forces overseas, said, "Everything [Yan] did was perfect and absolutely heroic.


"Look at the way he tries to get low [in the footage during the shooting]. This officer has been shot, but he has no thought for his pain. He is thinking of the threat, his partner and calling in for help."
The brave officer's actions allowed Timoshenko to be carried into a police car just a minute and a half after he was shot. He was taken to the Kings County Hospital, where he is now fighting for his life.
From the moment the two officers pulled over the SUV, they followed their training to a T, said Charles and other experts.
Timoshenko gets out of the police car in line with trash can, making sure he can quickly duck for cover if someone opens fire.
Both officers put their right hands to their guns and walk toward the vehicle at the same pace in a straight line, the procedure whenever a cop pulls over a car.
But the officers face immediate danger when they arrive at the vehicle and see that the windows are tinted, blocking their view of any potential gunmen in the car.
"One of the most dangerous situations in policing is car stops, but officers become even more vulnerable when it's 2:30 in the morning and the vehicle has tinted windows," Charles said. The video shows that Timoshenko was by the rear quarter panel of the SUV- before he could get a clear view of the gunman - when he's shot and falls.


http://www.nypost.com/seven/07112007/news/regionalnews/gunfight_cop_a_super_hero_regionalnews_leela_de_kr etser__additional_reporting_lorena_mongelli__murra y_weiss_and_larry_celona.htm
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Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 15, 2007, 06:27:25 PM
Second post of the day:

Fascinating shooting story:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqvFAoKK0lE
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 18, 2007, 05:20:38 AM
Social Programs to Combat Gangs Seen as More Effective Than Police
Area Officials Advocate Mix of Prevention and Enforcement
By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 18, 2007; B03



When it comes to fighting gangs, there's the New York City approach, and there's the Los Angeles approach, according to the Justice Policy Institute. And one statistic dramatizes the difference:
Two years ago, Los Angeles police reported 11,402 gang-related crimes; New York police, 520.

In a report being issued today, "Gang Wars," the Washington-based institute says it found overwhelming evidence that cities such as New York and suburbs and rural areas that use extensive social resources -- job training, mentoring, after-school activities, recreational programs -- make significant dents in gang violence. Areas that rely heavily on police enforcement, such as Los Angeles, have far less impact.

The institute analyzed dozens of academic reports on combating gangs and conducted research on the best ways to reduce gang violence. The report does not discuss gangs in the Washington area or its suburbs, partly because extensive investigations have not been performed in the region.

"Nobody we talked to thought that D.C. had a real gang problem," said Kevin Pranis, one of the report's authors. "Which is good news."

Institute officials say they hope the report will persuade legislators, in Washington and across the country, to allocate more money to proven social programs that target illegal gang behavior and less for large-scale arrest-and-imprison initiatives that often show short-term gains but make gang problems worse.

Officials in the District and its suburbs often stress the importance of both prevention and enforcement. In 2003, then-D.C. police chief Charles H. Ramsey launched the Gang Intervention Partnership Unit, working with schools, neighborhood groups and resident activists to reduce violence.
An independent report issued last year, looking at the unit's effects on the city's Latino population, gave a resounding endorsement: The number of Latino gang-related homicides in the city dropped from 21 between 1999 and 2003 to zero between 2003 and 2006.

"Suppression [enforcement] alone, that doesn't work," said Sgt. Juan Aguilar of the D.C. police. "That's only a Band-Aid. You've got to get to the root of the problem. It's social."

Similar sentiments were expressed by officials in Arlington and Fairfax counties, who said their police departments work closely with a variety of social service providers. In 2005, after a spate of gang violence in Northern Virginia, Fairfax launched a Coordinating Council on Gang Prevention and required several county service providers to participate.
Last year, Arlington launched its "Attention to Prevention" initiative to provide mentoring, leadership training and tutoring for youths. Police spokesman John Lisle said, "It's clear to us, to reduce the impact of gangs, it's not just a matter of locking people up."

The Justice Policy Institute describes itself as a think tank dedicated to ending society's reliance on incarceration and promoting effective solutions to social problems.

Statistics show that youth crime in the United States is at its lowest levels in 30 years and that gangs are responsible for a relatively small share of crime. In addition, according to a national Justice Department survey of police departments, gang membership declined from 850,000 in 1996 to 760,000 in 2004.

But occasional outbursts of violence prompt the media and politicians to seek immediate answers, said the report's authors, Pranis and Judith Greene.

"And it's more about politics than it is about serious efforts to do something," Greene said yesterday. "It's frustrating to see officials come forward with money for mass arrests, when the money is so sorely needed in programs that are tried and true and can really work."

In New York, the use of social programs to prevent gangs started in the 1950s, and the programs have continued to receive funding throughout the cycles of gang activity, the new report says. Street-level social workers, gang intervention programs and job training have been used for decades. "New York really doesn't have a chronic gang problem," said Greene, a New York resident.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, "retains the dubious honor of being the gang capital of the world," the report says. A 25-year anti-gang effort has cost taxpayers billions of dollars but has resulted in six times as many gangs and twice the number of gang members, because Los Angeles has not adequately funded social programs, the report says.

"There are very little services," said Luis J. Rodriguez, a former Los Angeles gang member who is a member of that city's Ad Hoc Committee on Gang Violence and Youth Development. He said the city has 61 gang intervention workers to handle about 40,000 gang members.

"We need substantial, root-based work, ways for people to get out of gangs," Rodriguez said. "But there are no jobs, rehabilitation or treatment, and schools and services do not work with gang kids."
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Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Bandolero on July 18, 2007, 08:49:32 AM
In DC, there are many blocks in which a group of guys which for all practical purposes are a gang, control the block (especially drug dealing). They may have informal labels like the "5NO Crew." (meaning they are on 5th Street between N Street and O Street. They are not Crips or Bloods (hell they have sent those folks home in body bags), so they don't have this formal gang name that is part of a larger network, but for all intents and purposes, they are a gang. I wonder how DC MPD counts those stats, because if they are counting them as non-gang crimes then they are not giving them the "credit" they really should be.

Baltimore was much like that in the mid-late 1990s when I worked there.
Title: "That's all the bullet we had"
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 22, 2007, 09:22:39 PM


Now here is a candid LEO

http://www.snopes.com/crime/cops/judd.asp
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 27, 2007, 10:04:56 AM
Law Enforcement can have a lot of overlap with martial arts issues and that is why this thread is on this forum.  The following piece doesn't really meet that criterion, but here it is anyway:
==============

Justice served: The Joe Arpaio Model
(This is the second in a two-part essay about frontier justice along our southern border. Part one, “Justice denied”, addressed a mockery of justice perpetuated against law-enforcement officers attempting to secure that all-too-porous border. Please join the nearly 52,000 Patriots who have already signed our petition, Free the Texas Three.)

As a former uniformed law-enforcement officer, I know that frontier outlaws are sometimes best deterred with frontier justice. Even the most leftward of the Lefties are willing to concede this point.

Just last week, in fact, San Francisco’s own Sen. Dianne Feinstein got a bit testy when hearing the testimony of Luis Barker, former chief Border Patrol agent for the El Paso region. Feinstein asked Barker what measures a Border Patrol agent should take when attempting to stop a fleeing Mexican drug smuggler.

“Measures other than deadly force,” Barker replied. Feinstein fired back, “No wonder we have so many drugs coming over the border.”

There is a region near our southwest border, however, that the wisest traficantes de la droga tend to avoid.

Why?

Because Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is there—and he’s bound and determined by oath to uphold the law.

Maricopa County is the fourth most populated county in the nation (3,768,123 U.S. citizens), with Phoenix as its county seat. In 1992, the good citizens of Maricopa County saw fit to elect an Army veteran and career federal drug-enforcement agent as their sheriff, on the promise that he would treat those convicted of crimes like criminals, rather than a social-welfare constituency. Since then, Sheriff Arpaio has been re-elected every time he faced the voters, because he and his 3,000 employees are keeping that promise.

Here is a sample of justice served at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO)—a good model for the rest of the nation.

Criminals in Maricopa County Jail can no longer smoke or drink coffee. “This isn’t the Ritz-Carlton,” Sheriff Joe informed his indignant inmates. “If you don’t like it, don’t come back.” The Sheriff also discontinued inmate subscriptions for pornography. He revised the jail menu offerings, reducing the cost of meals to 40 cents per serving—and requires that the inmates pay for them. When they complained that he feeds his police dogs better, Sheriff Arpaio responded with characteristic compassion: “The dogs never committed a crime and they are working for a living.”

The jailhouse weight rooms are gone, too, but there’s plenty of exercise to be had on one of Sheriff Joe’s chain gangs. These include chain gangs for women, so Arpaio can’t be called a chauvinist or sued for discrimination. “Crime knows no gender,” he says, “and neither should punishment.” MCSO chain gangs clean streets, remove graffiti and bury the indigent.

He also started juvenile chain gangs for youthful gang bangers and launched rehab programs like “Hard Knocks High,” the only accredited high school run by a Sheriff in an American jail, and “ALPHA,” an anti-substance-abuse program that has greatly reduced recidivism—the rate of reconvictions.

The Sheriff disconnected the MCSO jail’s cable TVs until criminal lawyers pointed out that he might be in violation of a federal-court order. So he hooked the cable up again, but piped in only the Disney and Weather channels. Asked by a reporter why he chose the Weather Channel, he replied, “So they will know how hot it’s gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs.”

Sheriff Arpaio also used canteen funds to purchase former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich’s history lecture series on DVD, which he shows in the jail. Asked by a reporter if he provided equal time to Democrats, Sheriff Arpaio said, “Some might say these guys already got enough of those ideas.”

Additionally, on Friday nights, inmates are treated to classic “G”-rated movies, and recently, the Sheriff launched KJOE radio, an in-house broadcast station, which plays classical and patriotic music, as well as educational programs.

Sheriff Joe has even posted a “Hall of Shame” Web page dedicated to deadbeat parents, which lists photos and descriptions of parents who owe back child support, etc.

But Arpaio is probably best known by convicts, and most loathed by them, for establishing a “tent-city jail.” When he first took office, non-violent offenders were routinely released in order to alleviate prison overcrowding, but the new Sheriff put a stop to that, which swelled the ranks of inmates. On behalf of taxpayers, Arpaio opened a tent-city jail in order to avoid building an expensive jail annex.

The tent city, surrounded by razor wire, houses thousands of inmates, most of whom get a bit uncomfortable in the 115-degree summer heat. Arpaio gave the inmates permission to dress down to their boxer shorts—shorts which, like socks and towels, are dyed pink so as not to be stolen. Of course, some of the longer-term inmates complained, but Sheriff Arpaio responded, “It’s 120 degrees in Iraq and our soldiers are living in tents, too, and they have to wear full battle gear, but they didn’t commit any crimes, so shut your mouths!”

In 2005, responding to limited federal enforcement resources to secure our borders, Arizona passed a law making it a felony (punishable by up to two years in prison) to smuggle anyone across the border. In addition, the Maricopa County Attorney issued a legal opinion that anyone being smuggled can be charged under the same law as a co-conspirator. (At last count, 14 other states are revising state legislation and stepping up their prosecution of illegal aliens.)

Consequently, Sheriff Arpaio issued instructions to his deputies and civilian posse to round up illegal aliens. “My message is clear: If you come here and I catch you, you’re going straight to jail... I’m not going to turn these people over to federal authorities so they can have a free ride back to Mexico. I’ll give them a free ride to my jail. I’m going to put them on chain gangs, in tents and feed them bologna sandwiches.”

The Sheriff also gives his inmates, who do not speak English, a two-week basic language course built around American history. He explains, “These inmates happen to be incarcerated in the United States of America. In Maricopa County where I run the jails, we speak English.” At the end of the course, they are required to sing “God Bless America” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Lately, Sheriff Arpaio’s detractors have been turning up the heat on him.

Last week, Arpaio set up a hotline that allows citizens to report suspected illegal aliens to the sheriff’s office. Predictably, Latino leaders voiced their displeasure: “What right does he have,” inquired Phoenix attorney Antonio Bustamante, “to investigate people based on the color of their skin, or their accent or the way they look?” Added Mary Rose Wilcox, a Maricopa County supervisor, “We feel the chances of being racially profiled just went up dramatically.”

Of course, Arpaio is opening investigations only on the basis of a suspected felony violation, not race or ethnicity. “There’s nothing unconstitutional about putting up a hotline,” Arpaio said, pointing out that U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, have similar hotlines.

There are other legal challenges to the Sheriff’s “unorthodox” methods for dealing with criminals—challenges that emanate from the Left’s preference to view criminals as victims. Not one to shy away from a fight, Arpaio has said he will go “all the way to the Supreme Court” to fight those challenges. “I’m going to keep locking them up,” he says.

“Justice,” in the words of James Madison, “is the end of government. It is the end of civil society.” Thank God that there are still men among us like Joe Arpaio—those still willing to dispense justice and defend civil society.

(Sheriff Arpaio and his wife of 48 years, Ava, have two children and four grandchildren—all residents of Phoenix. Earlier this year, he accepted an appointment as honorary state chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Through it all, Sheriff Arpaio has retained his sense of humor. In May, after Hollywonk Paris Hilton’s conviction, he contacted Los Angeles authorities and asked if they would like to transfer her to Maricopa County jail to serve out her sentence. They “respectfully declined,” he notes.)

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 06, 2007, 05:41:03 PM
Mon Aug 6, 7:38 AM ET
 


BANGKOK, Thailand - Thai police officers who break rules will be forced to wear hot pink armbands featuring "Hello Kitty," the Japanese icon of cute, as a mark of shame, a senior officer said Monday.

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Police officers caught littering, parking in a prohibited area, or arriving late — among other misdemeanors — will be forced to stay in the division office and wear the armband all day, said Police Col. Pongpat Chayaphan. The officers won't wear the armband in public.

The striking armband features Hello Kitty sitting atop two hearts.

"Simple warnings no longer work. This new twist is expected to make them feel guilt and shame and prevent them from repeating the offense, no matter how minor," said Pongpat, acting chief of the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok.

"(Hello) Kitty is a cute icon for young girls. It's not something macho police officers want covering their biceps," Pongpat said.

He said police caught breaking the law will be subject the same fines and penalties as any other members of the public.

"We want to make sure that we do not condone small offenses," Pongpat said, adding that the CSD believed that getting tough on petty misdemeanors would lead to fewer cases of more serious offenses including abuse of power and mistreatment of the public by police officers.

Hello Kitty, invented by Sanrio Co. in 1974, has been popular for years with children and young women. The celebrity cat adorns everything from diamond-studded jewelry, Fender guitars and digital cameras to lunch boxes, T-shirts and stationery.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: bjung on August 06, 2007, 08:13:11 PM
Quote
Police officers caught littering, parking in a prohibited area, or arriving late

funny, but sadly there still doesn't seem to be any penalties for rampant corruption
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 25, 2007, 03:18:13 AM
Some good points for us civilians in here too:

www.ForceScienceNews.com
 

Distractions and aggressive subjects; what a new study and past experience tell us

Force Science News #79
August 24, 2007


   
Researchers from the University of Kentucky confirmed recently what skillful cops have known for years: well-timed, well-crafted distractions can derail difficult suspects from violent intentions.

The researchers tested this theory with drunks, but according to behavioral scientist Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center, their findings are relevant to a wide variety of tough-to-handle subjects, including the drug addled, the mentally ill, and the emotionally distraught or irate. Lewinski teaches distraction techniques in the law enforcement program at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

"Distraction works well if you can pitch it right," he says. And in an interview with Force Science News, he offers some practical guidelines for doing so.

[Please note the opportunity at the end of this report to share distraction strategies that have worked for you and that could be helpful to other officers.]

First, the Kentucky study:

THE PREMISE.

With an assistant, Dr. Peter Giancola, a psychology professor at U.K. in Lexington, recruited 48 healthy male social drinkers between 21 and 33 years old, to test the hypothesis that well-timed distraction can help curb violence associated with intoxication.

As LEOs well know, "acute alcohol consumption is [often] related to aggressive behavior," Giancola states, with "alcohol involved in about 50 per cent of violent crimes." According to a psychological theory called the attention-allocation model, drunkenness narrows a person's field of attention so he or she "can really only focus on one thing at a time." In hostile situations, drunks who are inclined toward violence tend to focus on provocative, aggression-facilitating stimuli rather than on inhibitory cues, Giancola says.

Of course, not everyone becomes aggressive when they drink, he explains. "Many people become sleepy and happy. So, this theory only works for people who already have traits that put them at risk," such as impulsiveness, irritability, and a personal acceptance of violence (the belief that "beating my wife and kids is a good thing, because it keeps them in line," for example).

"Alcohol doesn't make you do different things," Giancola says. "It just allows what is already inside you to come out. It takes the brakes off."

THE TEST.

Giancola and his associate used a laboratory computer-game simulation to determine whether distraction might help defuse volatile, alcohol-fueled conflicts, such as bar brawls, by diverting drunks away from provocative cues. He claims this was "the first systematic test of the attention-allocation model" as it relates to intoxication and aggression.

Half of the Kentucky test subjects were given alcohol-spiked orange juice that brought their average BAC reading to 0.10. The other half were given a placebo drink and remained sober. All engaged in what they thought was a computer game that measured their reaction times against those of an unseen "competitor." When the test subjects supposedly "lost" a speed drill, they received a mild electric shock. When they "won," they could deliver a shock to their opponent. A subject's physical aggression was determined by the intensity and length of shock he chose to deliver.

To simulate distraction, half the drunk subjects and half the sober group were told to perform an "important" memory test during the game and were promised a cash reward if they did so successfully. This involved remembering the sequence in which small squares randomly appeared on the computer screen and clicking on them in the proper order.

THE FINDINGS.

Both the intoxicated and sober groups experienced a decline in reaction time when they had to tend to the memory-task distraction. However, the sober subjects "had sufficient attentional resources to attend to both the distracting and the provocative stimuli." They showed about the same level of aggression as sober subjects who were not distracted by the memory test.

There was significant difference, though, between the distracted and the nondistracted drunks. The former exhibited far less aggression than the latter. Giancola concluded that being mentally diverted left the drunken subjects with "less cognitive space [in their attention capacity] to house and process hostile cues."

With further testing, the researchers found that the degree of distraction is important. If the attempted diversion is too mild, it won't attract enough of the subject's attention. If it's too intense or confusing, it "might engender more aggression due to frustration," Giancola reported.

Lewinski concurs that distraction can be a valuable tool in curbing aggression. "On the street, it can work not only with drunks but with sober people who are emotionally aroused," he says. "If you can capture their attention and pull them away from whatever is stoking their agitation, you may be able to get them to work with you instead of blowing up on you."

Distractions come in 2 varieties, he explains: physical and psychological.

PHYSICAL DISTRACTION.

In the physical realm, Lewinski recalls a veteran Minneapolis officer who wore a powerful lifeguard's whistle on a thin thread around his neck. When he walked into a heated domestic or a bar fight where the players were "intensely emotionally engaged" and paying no attention to him, he'd let loose a shrill blast of the whistle and yell, "Everybody out of the pool!"

"People couldn't intentionally ignore him when that sudden, loud whistle blew," Lewinski says, "and he added a little humor with the pool command. Together, they were enough to break through the subjects' emotional barrier and get attention focused on him and off the escalating agitation."

Similarly, officers sometimes find that flicking room lights on and off during a nighttime domestic, for example, can be "a powerful attention-getting technique," Lewinski says. "Subjects are distracted from their battle temporarily, trying to figure out what's going on."

A physical distraction may even help you connect with delusional or hallucinating subjects. He cited a study conducted on psych wards in Michigan that discovered that attendants could often break through a patient's psychotic shell by clapping loudly and simultaneously shouting at them "while maintaining a calm demeanor. The noise shifts their attention and the calm appearance suggests that someone non-threatening is there to work with them."

Sometimes your challenge will be to eliminate physical distractions that compete with you for a subject's attention. Examples:


• "A loud radio can be especially distracting and agitating to people who are drunk or drugged," Lewinski says. "Get it shut off, along with the TV."
• Flashing red lights on your squad car "often have the same effect. If you can turn them off without jeopardizing your safety, that may help you gain and keep a subject's attention."

• Dogs and little kids "are terrible distractions when you're trying to work with parents. Getting them into another room or into the care of a neighbor or some other responsible person will help free the adults to concentrate on you."

PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRACTION.

The key to psychologically shifting a subject's focus is hitting on a distraction that is important to them, "something that's enough to influence them," Lewinski says. "Otherwise, you may confuse them, anger them, and make the situation worse. You will appear to be uncaring or not listening to what's concerning them."

Say you're in a private residence, trying to deal with a mother whose son has been caught up in troubles with the police. She's becoming "more and more agitated about what you're doing to her child. Allowed to continue working herself up, she could become violent.

"If you see athletic trophies in the room or pictures of the son in a sports uniform, you might acknowledge these mementoes and try something like this as a distraction: 'We're talking about the trouble your son's in. I know he's also been a good boy. Can you tell me about that?'

"This is something important to her. It may deflect her from her agitation and help you establish enough rapport to get back to the problem on a more logical and influential basis. Certainly it's likely to be more effective than trying to distract her by talking about your bowling scores, which have no importance in her life."

In contacts that eventually erupt in violence, "officers often miss that the subject is escalating emotionally through self-agitation. They're not sensitive enough to recognize this and proactively intervene to ease the situation and it just gets worse.

"Good officers, by contrast, start reading the level of a subject's emotional intensity from the beginning of the encounter and are always looking for cues to psychological strategies that might help control the situation."

For example, if you're dealing with a drunk who's starting to get worked up but is still at a relatively low level of agitation, you might tell him that you need to know all the addresses where he's lived for the last 5 years, Lewinski suggests. "This can be a challenging intellectual task for someone in an altered state, and may fully consume his diminished mental capacity."

On the other hand, subjects displaying a high emotional intensity-a couple bent on tearing each other apart in a domestic dispute, for instance-"may require a distraction that's much more visceral. You might say, 'Just a minute. I know you have children. Before we get into your situation, can you tell me if your kids are safe and where they are?' This distraction is likely to be important to them and offers an opportunity to calm them a bit while they respond."

One officer, sensing that an agitated suspect was building toward a physical attack on him, diverted the suspect by asking him how he thought other kids would taunt his children at school the next day if got himself on the news that night for assaulting a police officer.

"There are many reasons people may want to cooperate with you," Lewinski observes. Sometimes an apt distraction at the very beginning of a contact can keep the interaction on an even keel throughout. Lewinski offers these real-life examples:


• When officers in one Canadian province stopped individual bikers from a gang known to be troublesome, they found that they encountered less hostility when they started their face-to-face contact by admiring the violator's motorcycle and getting him to discuss its attributes a bit-including its ability to "go really fast." Often they could segue to this pertinent question: "How fast do you think you were going just now?" "By then, they'd built enough rapport to defuse the situation a bit."
• When Lewinski worked with Arizona patrol officers on a project involving the mentally ill and homeless, he always carried water and fruit in his car. "Drinking mostly alcohol and caffeine, these subjects are usually dehydrated, and they don't eat much," he explains. "You can distract them by asking if they're hungry or thirsty, and while they're engaged in eating they're calming down. You come across as a caring individual, and when you start talking about the problem they're having or presenting, you're seen as less threatening." Similarly, in cold climates "you can frisk them and then invite them to sit in your car and warm up for a few minutes, then engage in the problem that brought you to the scene."

Obviously, such ploys should be reserved for times when they seem to be strategically to your advantage; your job isn't social work. And in some situations, there won't be time to attempt distractions; immediate physical intervention may be necessary to establish control.

Remember, too, that distractions don't always work. Lewinski recalls a case in which officers were dispatched to a house where a man was randomly firing a deer rifle from the screened-in front porch. Later it was learned that he was experiencing an emotional meltdown over the recent death of his father.

Once the officers persuaded the distraught suspect to put the gun down, they gathered around him and worked at calming him down. Noticing an magnificent elk's head mounted on the porch wall, one officer directed the subject's attention to it and asked him about it, thinking to distract him from his grief. Turned out it was a prize bull the dead father had bagged and probably the most iconic relic he'd left behind. The subject went ape all over again.

"Sometimes, it's just the cut of the cards," Lewinski admits. "But good distractions have proven successful enough that they're worth trying in appropriate circumstances. Just be prepared with other options in case they fail. Nothing works perfectly all the time."

NOTE: We'd like to hear about successes and failures you've had with distractions. Your experiences could be helpful to other officers in critical situations. Just shoot us an email at cr@pixelhype.com and we'll print a representative sampling in a future issue of Force Science News.

=====

For another summary of the University of Kentucky study, see "Distraction Can Defuse Drunken Violence" [Read it now.] A full copy of Dr. Giancola's study, "Alcohol and Aggression: A Test of the Attention-Allocation Model," is available for a fee in the July 2007 issue of Psychological Science, archived here.


 
 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 25, 2007, 11:15:04 PM
From our friend CWS:

23 Aug 07

More on the subject. This is from a fellow Training Officer with a large PD:

"Two of our patrol officers were just involved (Tuesday) in what was nearly a
lethal fight with a robbery suspect in, of all places, a fast-food restaurant
bathroom!

Our officer was in foot-pursuit of a single, bank-robber suspect. The suspect
had at least one pistol with him that he had used to threaten bank employees.
He ran into a local fast-food restaurant and hid in the restroom. Our
fleet-footed officer was right on top of him. When he made physical contact,
the suspect stuck his pistol in the officer's stomach. However, our officer
responded instantly by grabbing the suspect's gun and prevented it
from pointing at him. The suspect's pistol never discharged.

The suspect, large and muscular, bit and fought, trying his best to get back
control of his pistol, but was unable to. Our officer was more than a match
for him, but both the officer's hands were occupied, and he was unable to get
to his own pistol.

A second officer entered bathroom moments behind the first. Seeing what was
going on, he jammed his own service pistol (G22) into the side of the suspect's
head and immediately attempted to fire. The pistol did not fire, because the
slide was pushed out of battery far enough to engage the disconnector.

The astonished officer, not understanding why his pistol would not fire,
abandoned efforts to shoot the suspect, and, using his pistol as a club,
savagely beat the suspect's head until the suspect, by then pleading for the
beating to stop, relinquished control of his own pistol and surrendered.

The suspect was taken into custody without further resistance. He suffered
several cuts but no serious injury. Our officers are okay, but shook-up, as
you might imagine!

Both these officers have been on the job for less than two years. During my
investigation, I apologized to both that, during their academy training, they
were apparently never told that their Glock pistols would not fire with the
slide out of battery. Indeed, the subject of contact-shooting was scarcely
addressed at all. The Academy curriculum is currently being updated/corrected
with regard to that.

However, neither officer carried a serious blade nor a back-up pistol, despite
the fact that their academy training did extensively address those subjects. I
instructed both to get serious blades and back-up guns into their lives
straightaway, before something like this happens to them again!"

Comment: We have a grossly inadequate amount of time to train young police
officers, and lethal-force training, it seems, is always least important in the
eyes of many academy administrators, training administrators, and chiefs of
police. For example, in the case of these two officers, the subject of
contact-shooting was never even mentioned. The omission nearly cost them their
lives!

Had the second officer's pistol discharged into the suspect's cranium when he
intended for it to, the fight would have almost certainly ended instantly.
However, as mentioned in recent Quips, when attempting contact shots using an
autoloading pistol, there is always the danger (as in the above case) that the
slide will be pushed out of battery, preventing the pistol from firing at all.
And, even when the pistol does discharge as planned, there is the danger that
bone chips, particles of skin and other bodily tissues, and blood will be
blasted into the pistol, preventing it from firing a second shot.

There are several methods for addressing these issues, from physically holding
the slide forward with the support-side hand as the trigger is pressed, to
withdrawing the pistol, performing a tap-rack-resume, and immediately
attempting to fire again, to posthaste transitioning to a back-up revolver and
re-performing the contact shot. All are valid. None are perfect. This issue
is one with which Operators need to be familiar, and which academies need to
teach, along with knife-fighting and other life-saving skills!

/John

************************************************** **********************

24 Aug 07

Why am I always armed? Why do I train continuously?

This from a friend who works in a prison:

"Today, I had an opportunity to hear stories from several violent offenders,
straight from their own lips. All were in excellent physical shape and would
(and do!) put up a serious fight in any situation. I know few people could
prevail against them with only bare hands. When there is more than one, any
one of us would be in serious danger. Put any one of them into regular
clothing, and they would blend right in most anywhere.

One inmate revealed the reason he was in the prison was multiple murders. He
got high on meth one evening and decided to break into a home. He tied up the
terrified (an unarmed) husband and wife, then decided to murder them. With a
pocket knife, he sawed on a woman's neck until he had cut her head off. Before
he himself was similarly murdered, her husband heard every one of her screams
and gurgles!

He took the victims' car and headed out of state. On the way, he ran out of
gas, so he stopped another car, murdered the unarmed driver (again with a
pocket knife), and took that car.

He continued to meet and murder people over the next week, seven in three
states. Finally, he returned home, married his girlfriend, and became a
father! Using DNA analysis, detectives secured a warrant for his arrest two
years later.

This is just one prison story, and by no means the worst! This institution
alone is full of them."
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: DougMacG on August 27, 2007, 11:27:10 AM
My first 'martial arts' post, not perfectly placed here, but a good story about a citizen's defense of self and family that led to the arrest of a fugitive. Perhaps his martial arts skill was wrestling(?) He is a law partner of John Hinderacker at Powerline: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2007/08/018281.php http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2007/08/018280.php

Radtke was listed in good condition at Regions Hospital in St. Paul on Saturday and, although he didn't want to talk about his ordeal, authorities had a message for him: Thanks.

Sgt. Andrew Ellickson said he was convinced that if Radtke's brave actions hadn't stopped the suspect, he would have caused more damage and injuries.

"He wouldn't have been stopped," Ellickson said.

Leland Klanderman agreed: "The guy was determined."

Radtke, an attorney for Faegre & Benson, and his wife, Jody, had just put their three sons to bed Friday.

They were headed downstairs to relax when the front door flew open, according to Jody's mother, Sandy Brandt.

The Radtkes were staring at a ragged-looking man with a rifle, she said.

Authorities said the man forced Keith and Jody Radtke toward the garage.

Quick decision

At this point, Washington County Sheriff Bill Hutton said, Radtke's world began to narrow into a "funnel."He had to make a decision," Hutton said.

When they got into the garage, Radtke saw an opportunity and pounced, knocking the rifle out of the suspect's hands.

Radtke put the suspect in a bear hug and yelled for his wife to go inside and call 911, Hutton said. She did.

Radtke didn't realize there also was a .45-caliber gun in the suspect's waistband, and the suspect was able to get a hold of it and shot Radtke in the lower back.

Radtke continued to struggle with the suspect and knocked the handgun across the garage floor. The suspect bit Radtke several times, and Radtke put him in a wrestling hold.

Nearby officers arrived at the scene, separated the men and used a Taser to subdue the suspect.

 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Bandolero on August 27, 2007, 05:16:49 PM
My first 'martial arts' post, not perfectly placed here, but a good story about a citizen's defense of self and family that led to the arrest of a fugitive. Perhaps his martial arts skill was wrestling(?) He is a law partner of John Hinderacker at Powerline: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2007/08/018281.php http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2007/08/018280.php

Radtke was listed in good condition at Regions Hospital in St. Paul on Saturday and, although he didn't want to talk about his ordeal, authorities had a message for him: Thanks.

Sgt. Andrew Ellickson said he was convinced that if Radtke's brave actions hadn't stopped the suspect, he would have caused more damage and injuries.

"He wouldn't have been stopped," Ellickson said.

Leland Klanderman agreed: "The guy was determined."

Radtke, an attorney for Faegre & Benson, and his wife, Jody, had just put their three sons to bed Friday.

They were headed downstairs to relax when the front door flew open, according to Jody's mother, Sandy Brandt.

The Radtkes were staring at a ragged-looking man with a rifle, she said.

Authorities said the man forced Keith and Jody Radtke toward the garage.

Quick decision

At this point, Washington County Sheriff Bill Hutton said, Radtke's world began to narrow into a "funnel."He had to make a decision," Hutton said.

When they got into the garage, Radtke saw an opportunity and pounced, knocking the rifle out of the suspect's hands.

Radtke put the suspect in a bear hug and yelled for his wife to go inside and call 911, Hutton said. She did.

Radtke didn't realize there also was a .45-caliber gun in the suspect's waistband, and the suspect was able to get a hold of it and shot Radtke in the lower back.

Radtke continued to struggle with the suspect and knocked the handgun across the garage floor. The suspect bit Radtke several times, and Radtke put him in a wrestling hold.

Nearby officers arrived at the scene, separated the men and used a Taser to subdue the suspect.

 

I wonder if a head butt at the moment of bear hug would have changed the dynamics.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 08, 2007, 07:15:01 AM
www.ForceScienceNews.com
 

I. Police and sleep problems: Are you a 40%er?
II. Another alarm sounds about tired cops.
III. Of no practical value...just funny.

Force Science News #80
September 7, 2007


   
I. Police and sleep problems: Are you a 40%er?

In law enforcement, you strive to be a 5%er, a symbol of excellence and commitment. But you may also be a 40%er. And that ain't so good.

After surveying 5,296 LEOs in North America, a Harvard Medical School group reports that nearly 40% (38.8%) of active-duty officers are suffering from sleep abnormalities. These include apnea, insomnia, shift work disorder, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy with temporary paralysis.

Yet sleep disorders in cops often go undiagnosed and largely untreated, according to one of the researchers, Dr. Shantha Rajaratnam. For example, "almost half the individuals diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea [a dangerous condition in which impaired breathing can lead to a heart attack or stroke] do not regularly take treatment," he says.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point out that "police officers work some of the most demanding schedules known, which increases their risk of sleep disorders. The public expects officers to perform flawlessly, but unrecognized-and untreated-sleep problems lead to severe disruption of sleep, which significantly reduces an individual's ability to think clearly and perform well."

Besides increasing your risks from accidents, injury, and poor judgment calls, sleep loss and disturbance also make you more vulnerable to depression, obesity, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disease, and diabetes.

The average age of officers in the Harvard survey was 38; 77% were men. Among the diagnosed disorders, insomnia was most common, followed by shift work problems, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy (falling asleep uncontrollably).

Given the survey's unsettling findings, Rajaratnam recommends that widespread "sleep disorder screening and treatment programs should be implemented" in the policing community.

II. Another alarm sounds about tired cops

The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin has added its voice to the growing concern about police fatigue, with an article in its August issue characterizing the problem as "an accident waiting to happen."

Among other things, the author, Spcl. Agt. Dennis Lindsey, a senior instructor at the DEA Academy and an international fellow at the Australian Institute of Police Management, cites a disturbing study that itemizes 9 workplace performance qualities susceptible to fatigue, all of them critical in policing. When fatigued, the study found, you experience a significantly lessened ability to:

1. comprehend complex situations that require processing a substantial amount of data within a short time frame;

2. manage events and improve strategies;

3. perform risk assessment and accurately predict consequences;

4. be innovative;

5. take personal interest in the outcome of action;

6. control your mood and behavior;

7. recollect the timing of events;

8. monitor your personal performance; and

9. communicate effectively.

"When [an officer] is deprived of sleep, actual changes occur in the brain that cannot be overcome with willpower, caffeine, or nicotine," Lindsey writes. "The decline in vigilance, judgment, and safety in relation to the increase in hours on the job cannot be trivialized.

"In the last 25 years, the job of enforcing the law has become increasingly complex from a cognitive perspective. [P]olicing the community is creating tasks that require much higher levels of attentiveness than in the past."

Yet, "modern law enforcement practices have developed well-entrenched unwritten rules that treat sleep in utmost disregard and disdain. Agencies often encourage and reward workaholics," and, through their staffing and shift practices, virtually mandate fatigue.

"Agencies must acknowledge this problem to improve working conditions for their personnel and to protect them from the scientifically documented consequences that fatigue can cause."

Among the research highlights Lindsey reports are these:

• After 20 hours of wakefulness, neurobehavioral functions are impaired equivalent to that of a drunk with a BAC of 0.10. Noticeable impairment sets in well before that;

• Even moderate levels of sleepiness "can substantially impair the ability to drive safely," even before you actually fall asleep at the wheel;

• The ability to maintain speed and road position on a driving simulator is significantly reduced when the normal awake period is prolonged by just 3 hours;

• "After 24 hours of sustained wakefulness, the brain's metabolic activity can decrease by up to 65% in total and by up to 11% in specific areas of the brain, particularly those that play a role in judgment, attention, and visual functions;"

• As people, including officers, "try to fight through periods of fatigue, the human body, in an effort to rest, goes into microsleeps" where you literally fall asleep "anywhere from 2 to 10 seconds at a time. It is difficult to predict when a person, once fatigued, might slip into a microsleep."

• As little as 2 hours of sleep loss on just one occasion "can result in degraded reaction time, cognitive functioning, memory, mood, and alertness;"

• "Fatigue is 4 times more likely to cause workplace impairment than alcohol and other drugs." Ironically, chemical abuse normally is "addressed immediately by management. However, the lack of sleep, probably the most common condition adversely affecting personnel performance, often is ignored."

"Fatigue is a serious, challenging problem that requires informed, forward-thinking managers to take action sooner rather than later," Lindsey insists.

• His recommendations include:

1. POLICY REVIEW. Administrators should review all "policies, procedures, and practices that affect shift scheduling, overtime, rotation, the number of work hours allowed, and the way the organization deals with overly tired employees."

2. TRAINING. Administrators should review "recruit, supervisor in-service, and roll-call training...to determine if personnel receive adequate information about the importance of good sleep habits, the hazards associated with fatigue and shift work, and strategies for managing them." Personnel should be "taught to view fatigue as a safety issue."

3. WORK/REST RULES. Agencies should consider "several different work/rest rules. The most common policy is the 16/8 formula. For every 16 hours of work, departments must provide 8 hours of rest time. If resources are limited, managers may have to choose between using volunteers/reserves, implementing mutual aid agreements, or declaring an emergency and breaking the work/rest policy. Any policy must include flexibility."

4. OFFICER COMPLIANCE. "Officers should not consider vacations just as missed days of work. They should turn off their cell phones and advise courts of scheduled leave. They always should take the time off that their departments provide and use it, remembering that no one is irreplaceable."

Lindsey warns: "Law enforcement fatigue and sleep deprivation...are becoming serious political and legal liabilities for police managers.... Exhaustion due to shift work, voluntary and mandatory overtime assignments, seemingly endless hours waiting to testify in court, physical and emotional demands of dealing with the public, and management expectations of doing more with less, combined with family responsibilities, put the modern law enforcement professional at serious emotional and physical risk....

"Police work is [a] profession in which we would want all practitioners to have adequate and healthful sleep to perform their duties at peak levels. Not only is fatigue associated with individual misery, but it also can lead to counterproductive behavior. It is well known that impulsiveness, aggression, irritability, and angry outbursts are associated with sleep deprivation.

"It is totally reprehensible that the cops we expect to protect us, come to our aid, and respond to our needs when victimized should be allowed to have the worst fatigue and sleep conditions of any profession in our society."

For Dennis Lindsey's full article, titled "Police Fatigue," click here.

To read our previous reports on police fatigue, search the archives of Force Science News at: www.forcesciencenews.com.

[Thanks to Julie Van Dielen of In the Line of Duty and to Gary Klugiewicz, national advisory board member of the Force Science Research Center, for tips that led to the development of this transmission.]

III. Of no practical value....just funny

When psychologists talk about techniques for coping with Critical Incidents, they usually mention "reframing"-looking at a troubling development from a different perspective to help make it more acceptable emotionally.

Who turns out to be a master at reframing but our favorite Internet cartoon character, that old crone, Maxine!

Maxine's minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon, so he placed 4 worms into 4 separate jars. The first worm was put into a container of alcohol, the second into a container of cigarette smoke, the third into a container of chocolate syrup, and the fourth into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of a fiery sermon, he revealed the results:

Worm in alcohol: DEAD.
Worm in cigarette smoke: DEAD
Worm in chocolate syrup: DEAD
Worm in good clean soil: ALIVE!!

He then asked the congregation, "What can you learn from this demonstration?"

Maxine, sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and shouted:

"As long as you drink, smoke, and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!"

Behavioral scientist Dr. Bill Lewinski of the Force Science Research Center observes: "Reframing needs to be reasonable. Otherwise you're at risk of outcomes that aren't always beneficial."

 
 
Title: Road Rage cop kills
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 23, 2007, 06:42:39 AM
'NY Times

A New York City police officer turned himself in to colleagues on the street yesterday and said he might have shot and killed another driver in a predawn road-rage encounter in Upper Manhattan on Sunday, the authorities said.

Jayson Tirado with his daughter, Jaylene, now 4.

The officer, Sean Sawyer, 34, approached a police radio car around 1 a.m. near Central Park, said he had chest pains and requested an ambulance. He then told the sergeant and an officer in the radio car that he believed he had been involved in a shooting while he was off-duty in East Harlem about 19 hours earlier in which a man was killed, the authorities said.

The road-rage shooting was similar to many such confrontations: The mundane discourtesy of jockeying for position while trying to exit off a busy highway led to an angry exchange of words from car window to car window. It was after 5 a.m., and the victim and his two passengers had been drinking, the police said.

But this argument, which started on the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, did not end with shouts. Instead, it appears that the two drivers took turns chasing each other for several blocks after they exited in East Harlem, the police said.

One of the passengers in the victim’s car told investigators that the driver who died, Jayson Tirado, 25, raised his hand, pointed a finger at the officer and said something about “Mr. Ruger,” apparently referring to a make of semiautomatic handgun.

At that point, the officer is believed to have opened fire with his 9-millimeter mini-Glock handgun, the police said.

Up to three shots were fired, the police said. Mr. Tirado was hit once as the cars idled at 117th Street and First Avenue, but he managed to continue driving for about three blocks. He then stopped at 120th Street, and paramedics took him to Harlem Hospital Center, where he died.

Mr. Tirado’s two passengers, Jason Batista, 21, and Anthony Mencia, 23, said in interviews yesterday evening that the other driver did not identify himself as an officer before opening fire.

Officer Sawyer worked undercover, the authorities said. He joined the Police Department in 2004 and had been working in the narcotics division in Queens.

He was held yesterday at the 25th Precinct station house in Harlem before being released about 8 p.m. Earlier in the day, a prosecutor visited the station house, and officials were trying to determine whether to charge Officer Sawyer with a crime and whether he had acted in self defense, according to the authorities.

The officer was suspended from duty without pay and stripped of his gun and badge, said Stephen C. Worth, a lawyer for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. He could face charges related to the shooting itself, and he may face departmental discipline, possibly for leaving the scene, officials said.

Though the officer was not arrested, the case could go before a grand jury. But a spokesman for Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, declined to comment about whether the case would be presented to one.

After the shooting, Officer Sawyer went home. Then he saw the news later on Sunday and learned that someone had been shot and killed, said a person with direct knowledge of the officer’s account. The officer started “reaching out to people and ultimately turns himself in,” the person said.

Mr. Tirado was described as a physically slight man who was focused on raising his 4-year-old daughter, earning money by fixing up cars and doing other odd jobs. The news that he was shot by a police officer who fled the scene drew expressions of surprise and anger from friends and relatives.

Mr. Tirado’s mother, Irene, 54, stood in the doorway of her seventh-floor apartment in the Jacob Riis Houses, a public housing complex in the East Village, and said that her son was shot and left to die.

“Now, I find out it was a police officer,” she said, clutching photos of Mr. Tirado as she cried.

The confrontation unfolded on the southbound Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive. About 5 a.m. on Sunday, a 27-year-old motorcyclist hit a light pole and was killed as he tried to switch lanes at 117th Street, the police said. All southbound traffic was then diverted from the drive.

Among those forced to exit were Mr. Tirado, driving a Honda Civic, and Officer Sawyer, in a yellow Nissan Xterra. They yelled at each other as they maneuvered at the 116th Street exit; Mr. Tirado was not letting the Nissan sport utility vehicle exit, the police said. “That is where this dispute starts,” one law enforcement official said.

===========
Officer Sawyer, who had finished his shift at 7 p.m. on Saturday and was not due back to work until today, was alone in the Xterra, the police said. Mr. Tirado had two passengers in the Civic, the police said.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said that Mr. Tirado and his passengers “had been drinking.” In fact, he said, “there was one who stated that he was in such a state that he did not remember any of the events that happened.”
Officer Sawyer followed Mr. Tirado west on 116th Street, where more words were exchanged, one investigator said. The officer, at one point, apparently sped ahead of Mr. Tirado, who might have chased him down again, the investigator said.

Both vehicles eventually turned right onto northbound First Avenue. There, Mr. Tirado cut in front of the officer’s Nissan and hit his brakes. The officer swerved slightly to the right, and both cars came to a stop at about 117th Street, the police said.

The police said that one of Mr. Tirado’s passengers, in an interview, said that Mr. Tirado turned as if reaching behind his seat and made the Ruger remark. He then aimed his fingers in the shape of a gun, the police said. No gun was found, one investigator said.

Officials said that Mr. Tirado’s precise words about the Ruger were unclear. One official said that Mr. Tirado said, “I have a new Ruger for you,” before reaching back and raising his arm with his index finger and thumb in the shape of a gun.

It was unclear yesterday if the officer had been drinking or where he had been between the end of his shift on Saturday night and the shooting on Sunday.

Mr. Batista, one of the men in Mr. Tirado’s car, said that as Mr. Tirado exited the F.D.R. Drive, the Nissan tried to pull in front of them, but that Mr. Tirado did not let that happen. Then, at Pleasant Avenue, the Nissan’s driver pulled up to the driver’s side of the Honda, threatened the men and sped away.

He said the Nissan approached the Honda again at First Avenue and 117th Street and fired three shots through the back passenger side window of the Honda. The shots missed Mr. Batista, who was in the back seat, but hit Mr. Tirado. Mr. Mencia, the other passenger, was asleep in the front seat, Mr. Batista said.

“A minute,” Mr. Batista said. “In a minute all that happened, from getting off the exit to having my man shot in my hands.”

Nearly 19 hours later, at about 1 a.m. yesterday, Officer Sawyer walked up to two police officers from a housing unit who were near his home — a sergeant and a police officer in a car at Central Park West and 102nd Street — and said he was feeling some chest pains and wanted an ambulance, the police said.

The man identified himself as a police officer and he said he believed he had been involved in a shooting in which someone was killed, the authorities said. He gave the sergeant his mini-Glock. Officer Sawyer said he was giving them a gun used in the shooting, saying, “This is the gun,” said a law enforcement official. An ambulance arrived and took the officer to the hospital.

Late yesterday, four detectives removed a cardboard box from the officer’s apartment building.

Officer Sawyer was described by the person with knowledge of his account as married and the father of two sons. That person said he believed that Officer Sawyer had not been involved in an on-duty shooting. He is a born-again Christian, said a relative, who spoke outside the officer’s home in Upper Manhattan.

“He didn’t seem like he was a violent type; I’m shocked,” said Sonia Liberato, a neighbor who said that Officer Sawyer had lived in the area for several years. “He’s really good with the kids,” Ms. Liberato said.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 27, 2007, 11:15:31 AM
http://www.policeone.com/writers/col...icles/1243754/



New findings on how offenders train with, carry and deploy the weapons they use to attack police officers have emerged in a just-published, 5-year study by the FBI.
Among other things, the data reveal that most would-be cop killers:
--show signs of being armed that officers miss;
--have more experience using deadly force in “street combat” than their intended victims;
--practice with firearms more often and shoot more accurately;
--have no hesitation whatsoever about pulling the trigger. “If you hesitate,” one told the study’s researchers, “you’re dead. You have the instinct or you don’t. If you don’t, you’re in trouble on the street….”
These and other weapons-related findings comprise one chapter in a 180-page research summary called “Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation’s Law Enforcement Officers.” The study is the third in a series of long investigations into fatal and nonfatal attacks on POs by the FBI team of Dr. Anthony Pinizzotto, clinical forensic psychologist, and Ed Davis, criminal investigative instructor, both with the Bureau’s Behavioral Science Unit, and Charles Miller III, coordinator of the LEOs Killed and Assaulted program.
“Violent Encounters” also reports in detail on the personal characteristics of attacked officers and their assaulters, the role of perception in life-threatening confrontations, the myths of memory that can hamper OIS investigations, the suicide-by-cop phenomenon, current training issues, and other matters relevant to officer survival. (Force Science News and our strategic partner PoliceOne.com will be reporting on more findings from this landmark study in future transmissions.)
Commenting on the broad-based study, Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato, called it “very challenging and insightful--important work that only a handful of gifted and experienced researchers could accomplish.”
From a pool of more than 800 incidents, the researchers selected 40, involving 43 offenders (13 of them admitted gangbangers-drug traffickers) and 50 officers, for in-depth exploration. They visited crime scenes and extensively interviewed surviving officers and attackers alike, most of the latter in prison. Here are highlights of what they learned about weapon selection, familiarity, transport and use by criminals attempting to murder cops, a small portion of the overall research:

Weapon Choice
Predominately handguns were used in the assaults on officers and all but one were obtained illegally, usually in street transactions or in thefts. In contrast to media myth, none of the firearms in the study was obtained from gun shows. What was available “was the overriding factor in weapon choice,” the report says. Only 1 offender hand-picked a particular gun “because he felt it would do the most damage to a human being.”
Researcher Davis, in a presentation and discussion for the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police, noted that none of the attackers interviewed was “hindered by any law--federal, state or local--that has ever been established to prevent gun ownership. They just laughed at gun laws.”
Familiarity
Several of the offenders began regularly to carry weapons when they were 9 to 12 years old, although the average age was 17 when they first started packing “most of the time.” Gang members especially started young.
Nearly 40% of the offenders had some type of formal firearms training, primarily from the military. More than 80% “regularly practiced with handguns, averaging 23 practice sessions a year,” the study reports, usually in informal settings like trash dumps, rural woods, back yards and “street corners in known drug-trafficking areas.”
One spoke of being motivated to improve his gun skills by his belief that officers “go to the range two, three times a week [and] practice arms so they can hit anything.”
In reality, victim officers in the study averaged just 14 hours of sidearm training and 2.5 qualifications per year. Only 6 of the 50 officers reported practicing regularly with handguns apart from what their department required, and that was mostly in competitive shooting. Overall, the offenders practiced more often than the officers they assaulted, and this “may have helped increase [their] marksmanship skills,” the study says.
The offender quoted above about his practice motivation, for example, fired 12 rounds at an officer, striking him 3 times. The officer fired 7 rounds, all misses.
More than 40% of the offenders had been involved in actual shooting confrontations before they feloniously assaulted an officer. Ten of these “street combat veterans,” all from “inner-city, drug-trafficking environments,” had taken part in 5 or more “criminal firefight experiences” in their lifetime.
One reported that he was 14 when he was first shot on the street, “about 18 before a cop shot me.” Another said getting shot was a pivotal experience “because I made up my mind no one was gonna shoot me again.”
Again in contrast, only 8 of the 50 LEO victims had participated in a prior shooting; 1 had been involved in 2 previously, another in 3. Seven of the 8 had killed offenders.
Concealment
The offenders said they most often hid guns on their person in the front waistband, with the groin area and the small of the back nearly tied for second place. Some occasionally gave their weapons to another person to carry, “most often a female companion.” None regularly used a holster, and about 40% at least sometimes carried a backup weapon.
In motor vehicles, they most often kept their firearm readily available on their person, or, less often, under the seat. In residences, most stashed their weapon under a pillow, on a nightstand, under the mattress--somewhere within immediate reach while in bed.
Almost all carried when on the move and strong majorities did so when socializing, committing crimes or being at home. About one-third brought weapons with them to work. Interestingly, the offenders in this study more commonly admitted having guns under all these circumstances than did offenders interviewed in the researchers’ earlier 2 surveys, conducted in the 1980s and ’90s.
According to Davis, “Male offenders said time and time again that female officers tend to search them more thoroughly than male officers. In prison, most of the offenders were more afraid to carry contraband or weapons when a female CO was on duty.”
On the street, however, both male and female officers too often regard female subjects “as less of a threat, assuming that they not going to have a gun,” Davis said. In truth, the researchers concluded that more female offenders are armed today than 20 years ago--“not just female gang associates, but female offenders generally.”
Shooting Style
Twenty-six of the offenders [about 60%], including all of the street combat veterans, “claimed to be instinctive shooters, pointing and firing the weapon without consciously aligning the sights,” the study says.
“They practice getting the gun out and using it,” Davis explained. “They shoot for effect.” Or as one of the offenders put it: “[W]e’re not working with no marksmanship….We just putting it in your direction, you know….It don’t matter…as long as it’s gonna hit you…if it’s up at your head or your chest, down at your legs, whatever….Once I squeeze and you fall, then…if I want to execute you, then I could go from there.”
Hit Rate
More often than the officers they attacked, offenders delivered at least some rounds on target in their encounters. Nearly 70% of assailants were successful in that regard with handguns, compared to about 40% of the victim officers, the study found. (Efforts of offenders and officers to get on target were considered successful if any rounds struck, regardless of the number fired.)
Davis speculated that the offenders might have had an advantage because in all but 3 cases they fired first, usually catching the officer by surprise. Indeed, the report points out, “10 of the total victim officers had been wounded [and thus impaired] before they returned gunfire at their attackers.”
Missed Cues
Officers would less likely be caught off guard by attackers if they were more observant of indicators of concealed weapons, the study concludes. These particularly include manners of dress, ways of moving and unconscious gestures often related to carrying.
“Officers should look for unnatural protrusions or bulges in the waist, back and crotch areas,” the study says, and watch for “shirts that appear rippled or wavy on one side of the body while the fabric on the other side appears smooth.” In warm weather, multilayered clothing inappropriate to the temperature may be a giveaway. On cold or rainy days, a subject’s jacket hood may not be covering his head because it is being used to conceal a handgun.
Because they eschew holsters, offenders reported frequently touching a concealed gun with hands or arms “to assure themselves that it is still hidden, secure and accessible” and hasn’t shifted. Such gestures are especially noticeable “whenever individuals change body positions, such as standing, sitting or exiting a vehicle.” If they run, they may need to keep a constant grip on a hidden gun to control it.
Just as cops generally blade their body to make their sidearm less accessible, armed criminals “do the same in encounters with LEOs to ensure concealment and easy access.”
An irony, Davis noted, is that officers who are assigned to look for concealed weapons, while working off-duty security at night clubs for instance, are often highly proficient at detecting them. “But then when they go back to the street without that specific assignment, they seem to ‘turn off’ that skill,” and thus are startled--sometimes fatally--when a suspect suddenly produces a weapon and attacks.
Mind-set
Thirty-six of the 50 officers in the study had “experienced hazardous situations where they had the legal authority” to use deadly force “but chose not to shoot.” They averaged 4 such prior incidents before the encounters that the researchers investigated. “It appeared clear that none of these officers were willing to use deadly force against an offender if other options were available,” the researchers concluded.
The offenders were of a different mind-set entirely. In fact, Davis said the study team “did not realize how cold blooded the younger generation of offender is. They have been exposed to killing after killing, they fully expect to get killed and they don’t hesitate to shoot anybody, including a police officer. They can go from riding down the street saying what a beautiful day it is to killing in the next instant.”
“Offenders typically displayed no moral or ethical restraints in using firearms,” the report states. “In fact, the street combat veterans survived by developing a shoot-first mentality.
“Officers never can assume that a criminal is unarmed until they have thoroughly searched the person and the surroundings themselves.” Nor, in the interest of personal safety, can officers “let their guards down in any type of law enforcement situation.” NOTE: For new findings from the FBI researchers about highly dangerous suicide-by-cop confrontations, read the exclusive 2-part report by Force Science Research Center board member Chuck Remsberg here.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 01, 2007, 06:42:17 AM

Spotting deception in suspect responses about weapons   
 
Submitted by:
Officer Richard Johnson, Largo (FL) PD


10/31/2007 



 
As patrol officers, we frequently ask people, "Do you have any weapons?" The normal response is "No." Any other response should tell you "Yes!" When a subject is trying to be deceptive, they will often pause, stammer, hem & haw, change the subject, etc. to change the focus from what they are hiding; in this case a weapon. If they are being deceptive about being armed, act immediately!
 
Review the incredibly sad video of South Carolina Trooper Mark Coates when he is shot and killed by Richard Blackburn during a traffic stop. Coates asked Blackburn, "Do you have any weapons?" and Blackburn doesn't answer directly. Rather he says, "Um...well...you know." A short time later, he produces a .22 caliber handgun and shoots Trooper Coates. Recognizing this hesitant, deceptive behavior saved my life. Interviewing a shoplifting suspect, I asked, "Do you have any weapons?" Much like the Blackburn, he responded, "Um...well...you know." Fortunately, I reacted immediately and was able to disarm him as he tried to pull a combat knife out of his pants. What I didn't know at the time was that he was wanted for attempting to kill a police officer elsewhere in the state. Look for and recognize deception when it comes to weapons and act immediately when you encounter it.

 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: DougMacG on November 02, 2007, 06:51:04 AM
Saw this on local news last night. Police tasers are equipped with cameras that help the officer document the scene.

http://wcco.com/local/taser.cameras.minneapolis.2.480654.html

Mpls. Police Use Tasers Equipped With Cameras
Reporting
Caroline Lowe
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) ― The Minneapolis Police Department has become one of the latest law enforcement agencies to use Tasers equipped with cameras. The new Tasers have the cameras mounted on the end of them. Once an officer turns on his Taser, the camera starts recording audio and video of the encounter.

The MPD released video to WCCO-TV from several incidents which occurred in recent months. They included a confrontation with a man armed with a knife at a pool hall, a domestic call where a man holds a crying baby hostage and several encounters where the suspects cooperated after the Taser was turned on but before the officer used the electronic jolt.

"More often than not it does give us a very good picture of the scene just prior to Taser deployment," said Minneapolis Deputy Police Chief Scott Gerlicher.

Gerlicher also believes the Taser cameras will increase community confidence in how the MPD handles encounters with suspects.

"We think it affords us a lot better accountability for the officers and for the public to know that we can go back and look at the video and see under the circumstances with which the Taser was deployed," said Gerlicher.

The MPD currently has cameras on 10 of the department's 200 Tasers. Officials hope to eventually provide Taser cameras to all officers on patrol.

The MPD Taser coordinator, Officer Adam Grogove, invited WCCO-TV reporter Caroline Lowe, who also has her Minnesota police license, to try out their new tool. Lowe has been "tased" twice for previous reports but this was the first time she had been on the other end of a Taser.

Grobove wore a protective suit and was armed with a knife when he played a "bad guy" confronting Lowe.

Lowe yelled at him to "back off" and then shot off her Taser cam when he continued to lunge forward. After he was struck with a burst from Lowe's Taser, two other officers took control of "bad guy" Grobove and handcuffed him.

The "staged" incident with Lowe was all captured on video and audio recorded by the Taser cam.

According to a report by the Minneapolis Police Department, officers used Tasers 232 times last year. So far, they have received no complaints from the community.

The Minnesota State Patrol will be getting their first Taser cameras in the next few weeks. They will join Minneapolis, St. Cloud and the Itasca County Sheriff's Office who already have the Taser cameras.
Title: Deterrent effect of Capital Punishment?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 18, 2007, 05:31:47 AM
NY Times:



By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: November 18, 2007


For the first time in a generation, the question of whether the death penalty deters murders has captured the attention of scholars in law and economics, setting off an intense new debate about one of the central justifications for capital punishment.

Related
Uses and Abuses of Empirical Evidence in the Death Penalty Debate, by John J. Donohue and Justin Wolfers (Stanford Law Review, December 2005)
Is Capital Punishment Morally Required? Acts, Omissions and Life-Life Trade-offs, by Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian Vermuele (Stanford Law Review, December 2005)
Does Capital Punishment Have a Deterrent Effect? New Evidence From Post-moratorium Panel Data, by Hashem Dezhbaksh, Paul H. Rubin and Joanna M. Shepherd (American Law and Economics Review 2003)
Deterrence Versus Brutalization: Capital Punsishment's Differing Impacts Among States, by Joanna Shepherd (Michigan Law Review, November 2005)
Prison Conditions, Capital Punishment and Deterrence, by Lawrence Katz, Steven D. Levitt and Ellen Shustorovich (American Law and Economics Review 2003)
Getting Off Death Row: Commuted Sentences and the Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment, by H. Naci Mocan and R. Kaj Gittings (Journal of Law and Economics, October 2003)
Capital Punishment and Capital Murder: Market Share and the Deterrent Effects of the Death Penalty, by Jeffrey Fagan, Franklin E. Zimring and Amanda Geller (Texas Law Review, June 2006)
According to roughly a dozen recent studies, executions save lives. For each inmate put to death, the studies say, 3 to 18 murders are prevented.



The effect is most pronounced, according to some studies, in Texas and other states that execute condemned inmates relatively often and relatively quickly.



The studies, performed by economists in the past decade, compare the number of executions in different jurisdictions with homicide rates over time — while trying to eliminate the effects of crime rates, conviction rates and other factors — and say that murder rates tend to fall as executions rise. One influential study looked at 3,054 counties over two decades.



“I personally am opposed to the death penalty,” said H. Naci Mocan, an economist at Louisiana State University and an author of a study finding that each execution saves five lives. “But my research shows that there is a deterrent effect.”



The studies have been the subject of sharp criticism, much of it from legal scholars who say that the theories of economists do not apply to the violent world of crime and punishment. Critics of the studies say they are based on faulty premises, insufficient data and flawed methodologies.

The death penalty “is applied so rarely that the number of homicides it can plausibly have caused or deterred cannot reliably be disentangled from the large year-to-year changes in the homicide rate caused by other factors,” John J. Donohue III, a law professor at Yale with a doctorate in economics, and Justin Wolfers, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote in the Stanford Law Review in 2005. “The existing evidence for deterrence,” they concluded, “is surprisingly fragile.”

Gary Becker, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1992 and has followed the debate, said the current empirical evidence was “certainly not decisive” because “we just don’t get enough variation to be confident we have isolated a deterrent effect.”



But, Mr. Becker added, “the evidence of a variety of types — not simply the quantitative evidence — has been enough to convince me that capital punishment does deter and is worth using for the worst sorts of offenses.”

The debate, which first gained significant academic attention two years ago, reprises one from the 1970’s, when early and since largely discredited studies on the deterrent effect of capital punishment were discussed in the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstitute capital punishment in 1976 after a four-year moratorium.



The early studies were inconclusive, Justice Potter Stewart wrote for three justices in the majority in that decision. But he nonetheless concluded that “the death penalty undoubtedly is a significant deterrent.”



The Supreme Court now appears to have once again imposed a moratorium on executions as it considers how to assess the constitutionality of lethal injections. The decision in that case, which is expected next year, will be much narrower than the one in 1976, and the new studies will probably not play any direct role in it.



But the studies have started to reshape the debate over capital punishment and to influence prominent legal scholars.



“The evidence on whether it has a significant deterrent effect seems sufficiently plausible that the moral issue becomes a difficult one,” said Cass R. Sunstein, a law professor at the University of Chicago who has frequently taken liberal positions. “I did shift from being against the death penalty to thinking that if it has a significant deterrent effect it’s probably justified.”



Professor Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, a law professor at Harvard, wrote in their own Stanford Law Review article that “the recent evidence of a deterrent effect from capital punishment seems impressive, especially in light of its ‘apparent power and unanimity,’ ” quoting a conclusion of a separate overview of the evidence in 2005 by Robert Weisberg, a law professor at Stanford, in the Annual Review of Law and Social Science.

“Capital punishment may well save lives,” the two professors continued. “Those who object to capital punishment, and who do so in the name of protecting life, must come to terms with the possibility that the failure to inflict capital punishment will fail to protect life.”



To a large extent, the participants in the debate talk past one another because they work in different disciplines.



“You have two parallel universes — economists and others,” said Franklin E. Zimring, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of “The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment.” Responding to the new studies, he said, “is like learning to waltz with a cloud.”



To economists, it is obvious that if the cost of an activity rises, the amount of the activity will drop.



“To say anything else is to brand yourself an imbecile,” said Professor Wolfers, an author of the Stanford Law Review article criticizing the death penalty studies.



To many economists, then, it follows inexorably that there will be fewer murders as the likelihood of execution rises.



“I am definitely against the death penalty on lots of different grounds,” said Joanna M. Shepherd, a law professor at Emory with a doctorate in economics who wrote or contributed to several studies. “But I do believe that people respond to incentives.”

============



Page 2 of 2)



But not everyone agrees that potential murderers know enough or can think clearly enough to make rational calculations. And the chances of being caught, convicted, sentenced to death and executed are in any event quite remote. Only about one in 300 homicides results in an execution.


“I honestly think it’s a distraction,” Professor Wolfers said. “The debate here is over whether we kill 60 guys or not. The food stamps program is much more important.”


The studies try to explain changes in the murder rate over time, asking whether the use of the death penalty made a difference. They look at the experiences of states or counties, gauging whether executions at a given time seemed to affect the murder rate that year, the year after or at some other later time. And they try to remove the influence of broader social trends like the crime rate generally, the effectiveness of the criminal justice system, economic conditions and demographic changes.



Critics say the larger factors are impossible to disentangle from whatever effects executions may have. They add that the new studies’ conclusions are skewed by data from a few anomalous jurisdictions, notably Texas, and by a failure to distinguish among various kinds of homicide.

There is also a classic economics question lurking in the background, Professor Wolfers said. “Capital punishment is very expensive,” he said, “so if you choose to spend money on capital punishment you are choosing not to spend it somewhere else, like policing.”



A single capital litigation can cost more than $1 million. It is at least possible that devoting that money to crime prevention would prevent more murders than whatever number, if any, an execution would deter.

The recent studies are, some independent observers say, of good quality, given the limitations of the available data.



“These are sophisticated econometricians who know how to do multiple regression analysis at a pretty high level,” Professor Weisberg of Stanford said.



The economics studies are, moreover, typically published in peer-reviewed journals, while critiques tend to appear in law reviews edited by students.

The available data is nevertheless thin, mostly because there are so few executions.



In 2003, for instance, there were more than 16,000 homicides but only 153 death sentences and 65 executions.



“It seems unlikely,” Professor Donohue and Professor Wolfers concluded in their Stanford article, “that any study based only on recent U.S. data can find a reliable link between homicide and execution rates.”



The two professors offered one particularly compelling comparison. Canada has executed no one since 1962. Yet the murder rates in the United States and Canada have moved in close parallel since then, including before, during and after the four-year death penalty moratorium in the United States in the 1970s.



If criminals do not clearly respond to the slim possibility of an execution, another study suggested, they are affected by the kind of existence they will face in their state prison system.



A 2003 paper by Lawrence Katz, Steven D. Levitt and Ellen Shustorovich published in The American Law and Economics Review found a “a strong and robust negative relationship” between prison conditions, as measured by the number of deaths in prison from any cause, and the crime rate. The effect is, the authors say, “quite large: 30-100 violent crimes and a similar number or property crimes” were deterred per prison death.



On the other hand, the authors found, “there simply does not appear to be enough information in the data on capital punishment to reliably estimate a deterrent effect.”



There is a lesson here, according to some scholars.



“Deterrence cannot be achieved with a half-hearted execution program,” Professor Shepherd of Emory wrote in the Michigan Law Review in 2005. She found a deterrent effect in only those states that executed at least nine people between 1977 and 1996.



Professor Wolfers said the answer to the question of whether the death penalty deterred was “not unknowable in the abstract,” given enough data.



“If I was allowed 1,000 executions and 1,000 exonerations, and I was allowed to do it in a random, focused way,” he said, “I could probably give you an answer.”
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 21, 2007, 08:37:19 AM
Force Science News #85
2 officer-survival studies due to kick off in new FSRC facilities


   
Pilot studies for 2 new research projects with significant officer-survival implications will get underway next month [12/07] at a new testing facility designed by the Force Science Research Center near the campus of Minnesota State University-Mankato.
One study will seek to measure the time required for an "attentional shift" during a high-stress, potentially violent confrontation. That is, how long does it take the average law enforcement officer to detect, absorb, and react to changes in his visual field while he is attempting to concentrate on and deal with a primary threat to his safety.
"What we discover in this study could change the way many officers approach potentially dangerous situations," Lewinski claims. "Not by making them paranoid, but by convincing them of the importance of planning ahead rather than attempting the impossible by trying to out-time a sudden, unexpected threat."
The second pilot will expand on earlier FSRC studies of biomechanics (how and how fast do suspects move during certain force confrontations) and also will try to identify important visual cues that may constitute precursors of an armed assault.
"We plan to look particularly at suspects who are lying prone on the ground, with the hands hidden under their body," Lewinski explains. "How long does it take a suspect to roll up enough from that position to point a gun and fire at an officer, and what early indication might an officer see as a warning that such a threat is being activated."
New Testing Facilities.
The pilot studies, which are intended to get the bugs out of testing procedures before researchers launch their comprehensive investigations, will be conducted in a newly opened 1,000-sq. ft. laboratory built to FSRC's specifications as part of the Center's new headquarters in downtown Mankato.
Occupying 3,500 sq. ft. in a historic stone building more than a century old, the centralized headquarters, which have been in development for over a year, permit consolidation of administrative offices, conference space, and the laboratory "for testing the technology and design elements of our research projects," Lewinski says. Some full-scale research can be conducted there as well.
The lab's appointments include an EEG (electroencephalogram) room, specially insulated against sound, vibration, and electrical interference, where sophisticated computerized equipment can record brain activity of officers as they engage in a variety of experimental activities. This room was designed by FSRC's deputy director, Dr. Bill Hudson, an electrical engineer, and Dr. Jonathan Page, a specialist in experimental psychology and a member of FSRC's technical advisory board.
The lab also is outfitted with an updated simulation equipment package, supplied by Ti Training of Englewood, CO, an FSRC research partner. "This will allow us in the future to create our own simulation scenarios, specifically tailored for our research needs," Lewinski explains. Todd Brown, a Ti representative and one of the Center's tech advisors, will coordinate this component of the laboratory.
A state-of-the-art lighting system in the laboratory "permits us to control light at any level, from full-bright illumination to total darkness, without hampering the versatility or accuracy of our recording equipment during experiments," Lewinski says.
The pilot shakedowns for the Center's 2 new projects are expected to take about a month, with the full-scale research then extending into next spring.
Attentional Shift Study.
The post-pilot component of this research will involve a minimum of 60 officer volunteers, participating in testing first at the FSRC laboratory and then at LE agencies elsewhere in Minnesota.
One at a time, the officers will face a downrange target with their gun out, as if concentrating on controlling a dangerous suspect. In unpredictable patterns, various lights will pop on within their focal area (7 to 9 degrees to each side). Some may represent new threats, others mere distractions.
The officers will have to notice each light display, mentally identify the meaning of it, and respond appropriately, pulling the trigger when a reaction is required.
The gun involved has an ultra-sensitive sensor embedded in it, allowing a computerized measurement of trigger pull in 320 discrete units, with the trigger position recorded every 10 milliseconds, Lewinski says.
"We'll be able to tell the quickest, the slowest, and the average time for recognition of changes in the visual field and for reaction to them, and we expect the implications to be profound," Lewinski says.
For one thing, he believes the findings will motivate officers to take more time to assess suspects and environments before entering potentially dangerous scenes.
"Once officers understand how very badly behind the reactionary curve they are when sudden shifts in attention are required, they'll be encouraged to more thoroughly assess ahead of time what they may be moving into and to strategize how best to enter and cope with the situation to minimize the possibility of threatening surprises," Lewinski explains.
"When they learn to maximize preventive tactics, such as using cover or otherwise positioning themselves to advantage, they'll be more comfortable with encounters and better able to focus on their primary transactions."
For this study, expected to run from January through April, Jonathan Page, a researcher of cognitive and brain science at Minnesota State, will monitor the volunteers' brain activity with EEG equipment. Andy Miner of MSU's Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept. will operate the stimulus and computer gear involved. The gun/sensor unit to be used was designed by Miner and Bill Hudson. Overseeing the research will be Ray Knutson, a reserve officer with Minneapolis PD and a clinical psychologist in the Minnesota state hospital system, specializing in criminally deviant behavior. He will detail the project as part of his doctoral research.
Biomechanics/Visual Cues Study.
In earlier research, FSRC has identified and timed some 15 different motions and their variations that suspects display when engaging officers in gunfights. This new study will expand that database, with particular emphasis on suspects who are prone on the ground with their hands hidden.
The test subjects will be 60 civilian volunteers who will be filmed and timed to see how long it takes them to roll from a prone position (handgun hidden under them at waistline or at chest level) to a position where they can shoot.
Timing will also be done of what Lewinski terms the "pseudo-suicide threat." That's where a subject who is pointing a handgun at his own head, suddenly points it at an officer and fires.
The action will be filmed by 3 computer-linked, synchronized high-speed cameras that will be positioned at different angles. During an analysis of the action, which can be filmed at up to 650 frames per second, the recorded images can be frozen frame by frame so that all 3 angles can be viewed simultaneously on a computer screen for detailed scrutiny and timing.
The cameras, part of a $25,000 technology package, will be provided by the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, an FSRC research partner. Most of the research will be conducted there, with Erik Walters, a tactics instructor at the college, coordinating the project. Lewinski will be in charge of the research.
Based on some preliminary investigation, Lewinski believes that the study may find that a prone subject can roll to either side and shoot in as little as one-third of a second. "If 2 officers were approaching a prone suspect in a contact/cover configuration, this would be faster than a cover officer could respond to stop the threat even if he had his finger on the trigger when the suspect moved."
Part of the research analysis will involve trying to identify early cues that a downed suspect is beginning to roll. "The filming may show that a suspect's hips may be the first part of his body to move when he's starting to roll," Lewinski says. "If we can pin down the precise dynamics, our findings may be able to give an officer a split-second jump on reacting.
"The findings may also suggest how best to approach-or whether to approach at all-when a suspect is lying on his hands."
This research, scheduled to begin in Janbuary, is expected to run until May.
Other New Developments.
Two other new developments are underway that will help advance FSRC's mission to study use-of-force issues and communicate its findings to the law enforcement community:
• Cst. Dave Blocksidge has been directed by the London Met Police to act as liaison with FSRC in the management of a variety of English-funded research projects currently underway in the London area.
• Dr. Lewinski has been named an associate editor of the Law Enforcement Executive Forum, a peer-reviewed, bi-monthly publication of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Institute.
Starting next March, the Forum will dedicate a section on Force Science research in its forthcoming issues, in both print and electronic formats. Contributors are encouraged to submit articles on behavioral science research related to street-level law enforcement issues. The Forum will supplant the online e-journal previously planned by FSRC.
   
Visit www.forcescience.org for more information
 
 
================
The Force Science News is provided by The Force Science Research Center, a non-profit institution based at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Subscriptions are free and sent via e-mail. To register for your free, direct-delivery subscription, please visit www.forcesciencenews.com and click on the registration button. 
 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 20, 2007, 09:54:04 PM

   
I. "Canadian Response" technique brings quick restraint of combative, super-strong subjects, FSRC advisor tells excited delirium conference
[View this article with photos on PoliceOne.com]
A technique for "working smarter rather than harder" to restrain unusually strong, combative subjects was described by an advisor to the Force Science Research Center at a recent international conference on in-custody deaths that featured presentations by nearly 20 of the world's leading authorities on excited delirium (ED).
The technique, which requires a coordinated effort by several officers, involves "humanely misaligning" a struggling suspect's muscles and joints to control his movements and reduce his capability of resisting while restraint devices are applied, explains Chris Lawrence, who outlined the tactic at the 2nd annual symposium of the Institute for the Prevention of In-Custody Deaths last month [11/07] in Las Vegas.
"A resisting subject can generate significant power with his arms, legs, and shoulders," Lawrence says. "If you take these out of their natural power alignment, the individual can be controlled with less effort and with greater safety."
Initially conceived as a response tool for ED confrontations, the procedure can be used effectively in managing a wide variety of strong, combative subjects, from drunks to the violently enraged and drug-fueled, says Lawrence, a prominent Canadian defensive tactics trainer and a technical advisor to FSRC at Minnesota State University-Mankato.
The technique was devised, tested, and refined by a cadre of Canadian police trainers led by Lawrence, in consultation with street officers, DT instructors, and ED medical experts scattered through North America. Lawrence, a columnist for FSRC's strategic partner PoliceOne.com, has researched and reported on ED developments to LE audiences for about 9 years.
BENEFITS. "Often when officers try to control a resistant person who's exerting tremendous strength, as in excited delirium, they end up trying to out-muscle him," Lawrence told Force Science News. "This requires significant exertion, and unless the officers' efforts are greater than the suspect's, they won't prevail. Even if they succeed, there's a risk of injury to the officers, the subject, sometimes even to innocent bystanders.
"Rather than work harder, the suggestion is to work smarter," with the coordinated application of leverage and body mechanics. With this method, which Lawrence informally calls the Canadian Response, "even officers whose size and strength can't begin to match that of the suspect should still quickly prevail, with a greater margin of safety for everyone involved."
In training sessions, Lawrence selects "the biggest guy in the class" to role-play the subject and "5 other big people" to try to control him. The officers are told to "use any technique you want to get the subject into a prone, controlled position," while the subject is instructed to "do anything you want to get out."
Typically, Lawrence claims, "within 4 to 5 seconds, the subject has been able to rise up at least to his hands and knees."
After instruction in the Canadian Response, 5 of the smallest people in class take on the biggest one. "I stand there ordering him to get up, but he can't. The usual reaction is, 'I can't believe this.'"
"The Canadian Response shares the key component of all good physical control techniques," notes FSRC's executive director, Dr. Bill Lewinski. "It allows officers to maximize their biomechanical advantages and diminishes the biomechanical advantages of the subject. When done well, it should literally rob the subject of his power, regardless of his size, strength, and physical and emotional intensity."
Maximizing speed and minimizing exertion in achieving effective restraint is especially important when dealing with ED subjects who are not compliant with verbal persuasion, Lawrence explains.
"There's nothing a police officer with a first-aid certificate can do to help the subject at the side of the road. Experts agree that getting these people to a medical facility as promptly as possible without unnecessarily intensifying their agitated, overstressed state with a prolonged struggle appears to increase their chances of surviving what can be a fatal episode. Unless they are physically controlled, however, ambulance crews won't transport them, so restraint, when necessary, becomes imperative as a first step in receiving medical care."
GROUND POSITIONING. The Canadian Response works best with 4-5 officers concentrating on a subject who's on the ground, front side down. (Lawrence does not specifically address how he gets there, but the presumption is that he's tackled, Tasered, tripped, or otherwise brought down and maneuvered to a prone position; pain compliance will not reliably do the job because the subject may well be impervious to pain.)
"The ground provides a consistent , reliable platform that works to the officers' mechanical advantage," Lawrence says, "and getting the subject proned out actually results in lesser force being necessary than if he were on his back. So long as the subject is face down, you're in less danger from his natural weapons," his limbs.
ARM CONTROL. Experimentation showed that even highly muscled individuals display the least strength in weight-lifting when their arms are straight out at their sides, Lawrence says, so this is the position the first 2 officers want to get the proned subject's arms into-extended out at an angle of 90 degrees or slightly higher from the ribcage.
If the officers sit facing away from the subject, they can each grab an arm, fully extend it, clamp it with the crook of their elbow, and lock it in against their side and across their thigh-a seated variation of the arm-bar maneuver. With one hand controlling the subject's wrist, they turn his palm up, then use their upper-body weight to lean against and apply pressure to the back of his deltoid (shoulder) muscle, pushing toward the ground.
"This pins him, without causing injury," Lawrence says. "By keeping his arms locked out and anchored, his wrists turned and off the ground, and his shoulders down, you misalign his muscles and joints. His arms are less effective in offering resistance, but his ability to breathe remains uncompromised."
In some cases, Lawrence points out, subjects may go prone with their arms tucked under them, hands clasped tight against their chest-what Lawrence calls a powerful "turtle position." To avoid a strenuous struggle to gets the arms free, you are often best off to use a baton as a leverage tool and pry them out.
LEG CONTROL. The next 2 officers secure the subject's legs. "Again, the principle is misalignment of the muscles to reduce the subject's ability to generate power," Lawrence says.
These officers each capture a foot and get on the ground between the subject's legs to move the heels as far apart as possible. Pushing against each other back-to-back can help gain leverage in parting and extending the legs.
Continuing to face away from each other, each officer then wraps his/her body around an ankle, turning the toes out and bringing his/her weight to bear against the end of the long leg bones to hold the limbs down securely.
"This positioning substantially reduces the subject's ability to raise his legs and exert himself with the most powerful parts of his body," Lawrence says.
5th OFFICER. If an additional officer is present, he or she can be plugged in where needed most.
If more control is necessary, this officer, kneeling at the subject's head, can apply pressure through his/her hands to the subject's shoulders, roughly where the rotator cuffs are (not on the spine). "This tends to be more effective than holding the subject's head," Lawrence explains, "because a head hold leaves more possibility for the subject to torque his shoulders, move his upper trunk substantially, and try to get up or buck to a more powerful position."
If the subject seems well-controlled, the 5th officer "can also work as a quarterback, overseeing the process and scanning for threats." Or he/she can move in to begin the handcuffing process.
HANDCUFFING. The Canadian Response involves the use of multiple pairs of handcuffs, not only for easier initial application but also because this allows the subject to be transported by ambulance in a more desirable position for monitoring.
If an extra officer is not available, the arm-control officers must handle the cuffing on their own. If they have trouble reaching their cuffs, a leg officer may be able to hand up a set to get the process started. "This is very flexible," Lawrence says.
One arm-control officer goes first, transitioning from the pin position by raising the subject's wrist high, turning the arm, and bending the elbow so the arm folds behind the subject's back in a cuffing position. The officer turns to face the subject's spine as he/she brings the arm around. The subject's upper arm is held firmly between the officer's knees, one of which is placed over the subject's scapula, the other on the ground. Once a cuff is on that wrist, the other officer repeats the process with the other arm.
Now the unused portions of the 2 handcuff sets can be hooked together. Or, with large subjects, they can be connected to a third set of cuffs interposed between them. "The idea is to create enough separation between the subject's hands that he can lie flat, without riding on his cuffed wrists, once he is turned over on his back for ambulance transport," Lawrence says.
He warns, however, that a subject who must be transported by patrol car rather than by ambulance should not be handcuffed with extended space between his wrists.
Important: The subject should not be turned onto his back until his legs are firmly restrained.
LEG RESTRAINT. Once the subject is handcuffed, his legs are then brought together, under control, and are securely strapped together. Once the strap is cinched snug, the loose end can be stood on to keep the subject from moving his legs. Note: This is a hobble restraint, not hog-tying.
TRANSPORT. After the legs are strapped, the subject can be rolled to his side. When he's transferred to a gurney for transport to a medical facility, the strap can be tied to the end of the stretcher to keep the subject from raising or thrashing his legs. EMS personnel will apply additional restraints of their own, but at least one officer should still ride in the ambulance for added security.
"With the daisy chain of handcuffs, the subject should be able to lie on his back with his hands beside his hips so that the paramedics or EMTs can better monitor him," Lawrence says. "With him supine [face up], they're better able to watch his breathing, use a stethoscope to check his heart, apply a blood pressure cuff, start an IV, and so on.
"The usual gurney strapping will prevent him from sliding the cuffs below his butt and attempting escape."
Lawrence cautions that use of this control procedure is by no means an iron-clad guarantee against injury to officers or subjects. Nor can it assure that a subject beset by ED won't still die suddenly and unexpectedly, despite the best efforts of police and medical personnel. "There is still a great deal that's unknown about this complicated phenomenon," he says, "including exactly why the ED experience culminates in death for some of these subjects. Plus, no tactic is guaranteed to work on a particular subject, and every control technique has some element of risk.
"But based on what we know so far, the Canadian Response seems to provide hope for safely handing an afflicted subject off to medical personnel. It requires no new equipment for officers to buy or to carry on their belts or in their car, and it incorporates the kind of simple DT movements that they are already familiar with."
Obviously, performing smoothly as a team requires practice. "But officers who've trained in the technique are amazed at how successful it can be," Lawrence says.
He plans to demonstrate the technique at the ILEETA (International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Assn.) 2008 training conference, Apr. 1-5 in Wheeling, IL, a suburb of Chicago.
Lawrence can be reached at chris.lawrence@policeone.com.
[For previous articles on challenges and recommendations related to controlling ED subjects, search the Force Science News archives at www.forcesciencenews.com. Our thanks to PoliceOne trainer Gary Klugiewicz, a member of FSRC's national advisory board, for tipping us to Lawrence's Las Vegas presentation.]
II. FSRC to bring reality to English Parliament
Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center, will make a presentation this month [12/07] before a committee of Parliament in London, England, regarding FSRC's latest findings on use-of-force dynamics, decision-making, perceptions, and memory.
Parliament's House Affairs Committee on Human Rights is looking into issues regarding Taser use, the nature of law enforcement-related violence, civil rights, and other concerns related to police interaction with British citizenry.
"I expect lively dialogue with members of the committee after presenting our research," Lewinski says, "and I hope to emphasize what science reveals about police use of force." 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 19, 2008, 06:43:57 AM

Deputy did not act unreasonably in fatally shooting a man who had refused to submit to a pat down and then disarmed the deputy of his baton. Lewis v. County of Riverside, #06-55764, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 29148 (9th Cir.).
http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/coa/memdispo.nsf/pdfview/121207/$File/06-55764.PDF

City and its personnel were not liable for suicide of a man arrested for DUI and detained in a cell for intoxicated and combative prisoners.  The fact that he had fought with officers did not establish that he was suicidal. Branton v. City of Moss Point, #07-60653, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 76 (5th Cir.).
http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/unpub/07/07-60653.0.wpd.pdf
Title: Deadly Force Study
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 09, 2008, 04:57:51 AM
Force Science News #91
Part 1 of a 2-part series
   
The story is a frequent staple of the evening news. An officer shoots and kills a minority subject who turns out to be...unarmed. Protests explode, and the familiar litany is again asserted: racial bias by the cops underlies many of these inflammatory events.

Now a new study by a member of the Force Science Research Center's national advisory board confirms what law enforcement officials have argued all along: Such controversial shootings aren't about race. What really prompts an officer to pull the trigger in circumstances that are rapidly evolving and uncertain is the suspect's behavior.

"That's the bottom-line finding," researcher Tom Aveni told Force Science News. "If you confront a police officer in what appears to be a felonious context, it's the way you act that will get you shot-not your race. And that's true regardless of the officer's sex, age, experience, or type of duty location."

In fact, Aveni was able to pinpoint specific body-language that tends to be associated with the decision to shoot.

Moreover, among less important factors that also influence decision-making, even a suspect's clothing and age are likely to be more compelling than his or her ethnicity in determining officers' reactions.

Aveni's conclusions come from his detailed analysis of the reactions of 307 officers who engaged armed and unarmed suspects in simulated confrontations designed to accurately reflect conditions under which officer-involved shootings often occur. Founder of the consulting and training organization The Police Policy Studies Council in addition to serving on FSRC's board, Aveni funded the project largely from his own pocket. He also received some financial aid and substantial logistical assistance from the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority, an insurer of law enforcement agencies.

The full report of his findings, titled "A Critical Analysis of Police Shootings Under Ambiguous Circumstances," can be found at: www.theppsc.org

"This is a very significant, first-of-its-kind investigation," says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of FSRC at Minnesota State University-Mankato. "Tom Aveni has measured critical variables in shooting situations that other researchers have ignored completely. As a result, his findings are far more realistic and meaningful in identifying the factors that truly drive deadly force decision-making."

Aveni himself believes the study potentially will "radically alter the way police use of deadly force is examined in the future."

PROJECT ORIGIN. Something of a dual motivation propelled him into the study, which was "years in the making," Aveni says. For one thing, he was intrigued by an assertion made by the ACLU some years ago that 25% of all suspects shot by police are "unarmed and not-assaultive." And he was also curious about research concerning the "disproportionate" use of deadly force by officers against racial minorities.

"Race has been explored extensively as a factor" in police shootings, Aveni says, particularly in those where no suspect weapon is found after the smoke clears. "The implication has been that the police are racist" and that negative stereotyping causes them to overreact with excessive force in circumstances where, in fact, no lethal threat exists.

As Aveni reviewed existing research, he found that studies on the subject seemed invariably to explore the matter "without meaningful context." They merely reported gross numbers without "delving deeply into the generally overlooked critical micro-behavioral components that are the very essence of the police decision-making process."

Consequently, if minorities indeed are disproportionately targeted in "ambiguous" shootings where a deadly threat is not clearly confirmed before an officer fires, "one is left to wonder why."

With the cooperation of 6 law enforcement agencies in Michigan-3 municipal police departments and 3 sheriff's departments, representing urban, suburban, and rural jurisdictions-Aveni set about to "better understand the behavior of officers forced to make critical, split-second decisions that may result in the taking of a life."

TESTING FORMAT. A troupe of actors from a local theater, representing a diversity of races, sexes, ages, and attire, were videotaped depicting subjects at a furniture store location. They performed specifically prescribed reactions as if interrupted by an officer responding to a purported robbery-in-progress, a burglar alarm activation, or a possible mugging-in-progress.

Using a mix of players, clothing, and reactions, 80 different scenarios were taped. These were then projected in random order on a laser-based IES Interactive Training MILO system. Participating officers, also diverse as to race, gender, age, experience, agency affiliation, and assignment, then were randomly exposed, one at a time, to 3 different scenarios with 3 different outcomes: a suspect who intends to surrender empty-handed, a suspect who intends to surrender with a non-weapon object (cell phone, flashlight, police ID wallet) in hand, and a subject determined to shoot.

All scenarios were taped in low-light conditions, to "inject more ambiguity into the situations" and to reflect the fact that more than 70% of police shootings of unarmed subjects occur in settings with unfavorable illumination.

"Realistic uncertainties like officers regularly encounter on the street were built into all the scenarios," Aveni explains. Officers were told that the robbery-in-progress report, for example, had come via a 911 hang-up; no further details available, including no description of the offender and no information on whether a weapon is involved. When the participating officer "arrives" at the scene, viewing things from the camera's perspective, an unidentified subject bursts out of the front door and starts to run away.

When an officer responds to the burglar alarm, he or she spots a subject trying to crowbar a side door. The subject drops the bar, eliminating the only potential weapon-that's visible, at least.

In the possible mugging scenario, officers were told only that they are doing business checks in an industrial park at 0100 hours. Yelling that suggests a "verbal altercation" is heard. The camera leads the participating officer around a visual obstruction, where he or she then sees one individual pushing another against a wall; again, no explanation immediately available.

Officers stood about 15 feet away from the action. They were told to react to what they saw on the screen as they would on the street. Most immediately issued loud verbal commands: "Police! Don't move!" or "Show me your hands!" or both. In each scenario, the subject "responded" by standing with back to the officer, hands out of sight at waist level. "This added to the 'threat ambiguity' of each situation," Aveni says.

Each subject had been coached to look back over his or her shoulder at least once during the encounter, as if taking a "target glance" at the participating officer. Then, unexpectedly, the subject abruptly turned to the left, toward the officer. Hands were kept at waist level at least through the first half-turn, and then they moved up somewhat as the turn was completed.

Subjects who were armed (1/3 of the scenarios) fired a .38 Special S&W M640 revolver, loaded with full-flash Hollywood blanks. The participating LEOs were warned that if someone on screen shot at them first, a modified paintball apparatus beside the simulator screen would also begin firing foam-rubber balls at them. "This factor was injected into the study in the hope that it might diminish participant apathy or complacency," Aveni explains.

The scenarios lasted, at maximum, about 30 seconds apiece. All the "confrontations" were videotaped to allow minute analysis later.

RESULTS. Aveni found that of the 307 LEOs participating, 38%-nearly 4 in every 10-shot unarmed subjects depicted in the scenarios (in all, 117 such subjects got shot). Some officers shot more than one suspect who turned out not to have a weapon. Carefully tabulating and analyzing details of the officers' actions to illuminate the percentage, he reached several important conclusions:

What didn't matter. "No significant correlation existed between the officers' actions and the suspects' race," Aveni says. "Likewise, there was no significant correlation between what the officers did and their own gender, age, experience, or type of jurisdiction in which they worked-urban, suburban, or rural.

"Statistically, there was a significant correlation in black officers shooting unarmed subjects. But with only 9 African-American LEOs participating in the study, that number may be too small to warrant firm conclusions."

What did matter. The strongest correlation was found between the subjects' actions and the officers' decision to shoot. Also significant, though of somewhat lesser influence, was the type of crime believed to be involved in the scenario and 2 attributes of the subject-age and attire.

Aveni explains: "Officers were more likely to shoot in the robbery scenario than in the possible mugging and more likely to shoot in the mugging scenario than in the apparent burglary-in-progress."

The nature of the crime involved, he says, clearly affected the officers' "vigilance and situational readiness." Responding to the reported robbery, they were more likely to have their sidearm drawn quickly and pointed at the suspect when verbal commands were issued, compared to the spontaneously discovered possible mugging and the alarm activation call (a frequent false run in police work) where their readiness was "measurably worse."

Also, officers were "more likely to shoot when the subject was young and also when the subject was wearing scruffy 'punk' clothing rather than 'business' attire."

Predictably, officers overwhelmingly shot at suspects when suspects shot at them. But many also fired "preemptively," before a weapon could actually be discerned, resulting in rounds being delivered to unarmed subjects. "The major influence here was how the subject behaved," Aveni says. Particularly involved was what he calls "the acting quotient."

Acting quotient. All suspects in the scenarios followed the same choreographed pattern of movement: With their back to the participating officer, they initially kept their hands at waist level, glanced over their shoulder, then turned without warning to face the officer, concealing their hands until well into the turn.

Aveni had not anticipated that the actors would perform with different levels of energy and conviction. Yet some performed more "convincingly" than others, and that proved to be a key component of the research.

"The subjects most likely to get shot," Aveni says, "displayed a high-level 'acting quotient.' They performed with unchoreographed nuances. That is, they made their moves with vigorous intensity and speed, versus tepidly. They kept their hands low, rather than high. They tended to crouch partially or fully as they turned instead of remaining upright, and they fully or partially clenched their hands, rather than keeping them open."

Such energetic movement in a setting where a serious crime appears to be involved "is much less likely to be viewed as innocuous," Aveni says. "A suspect's intensity had much to do with whether an officer felt compelled to pull the trigger before the circumstances became manifest. It became one of the most reliable predictors of whether a person got shot."

Time pressure. For their own safety, officers had little time to react. Even with "tepid" movements, the suspects' hands came around "almost always too fast to determine" the true nature of any object being held or whether the hands were, in fact, empty, Aveni says.

As the hands typically swung through an arc of 4-5 feet, the officers' eye movement inevitably lagged behind, so that the action was perceived "as a blur or a smear of motion. Judgment about what, if anything, the suspects held could not be made with certainty until the hand movement stopped. When a suspect had a gun, that was too late."

With an officer behind the reactionary curve, Aveni says, "the lag time can allow the suspect to fire one or more shots before the officer can shoot back." Indeed, in the study armed suspects were able to shoot first 61% of the time.

From a critical juncture in a scenario, an officer typically had "1/3 of a second or less" to decide whether to use deadly force or risk being shot, Aveni claims.

"Those officers who managed to shoot armed suspects before the suspect was able to fire seemed to have elected to use deadly force before it could be clearly determined that the suspect did, in fact, have a handgun. The officers decided to fire either before the suspect started to turn or at the earliest possible moment turning was perceived.

"This tends to explain why a significant percentage of unarmed subjects, who intended to surrender with or without innocuous objects in hand, also were shot."

All unarmed role players in the scenarios were told to culminate their movements in the "surrender" position: hands held at sternum height or above, palms facing forward, fingers pointed "mostly upward."

Aveni reports that "92% of the unarmed subjects who were shot during the study were in the 'surrender position' " at the time the officers' shots reached them.

Lewinski offers some pertinent observations. First, he says, "time pressure is notorious for significantly increasing errors in judgment. That's true not just in officer-involved shootings but also in activities that are not life-threatening, such as fingerprint analysis. As time tightens, the incidence of false-positive and false-negative decisions expands."

Time plays into these situations in another critical way, too, Lewinski explains. "A passage of time necessarily occurs between the instant an officer makes a decision to shoot and the instant his rounds impact. Force Science research has clearly established that if a suspect is moving, his position will be different when a bullet strikes than it was when the decision was made to shoot.

"This can account for subjects being shot in the surrender posture. They weren't necessarily in those 'no-shoot' postures when the officer's shooting decision was made."

Aveni's study further revealed "a common tendency" for officers to continue shooting once they started. Aveni offers 2 explanations: 1) "it takes time to 'apply the brakes' of a neuromuscular response" like firing a gun. Studies by FSRC have shown that officers, on average, fire 2 or more shots after they've received a visual cue that shooting should end; 2) the scenarios Aveni used did not have a branching capability, so the suspects did not fall when "hit." Thus, "any officer trained to 'fire until your foe falls' would likely continue shooting."

Lewinski elaborates. "In the midst of shooting to save their lives, officers often can't see where their bullets are striking. They rely on highly detectable visual cues that the subject has ceased being a threat, such as the suspect dramatically thrusting his or her arms overhead or collapsing.

"Even then, officers often will continue to shoot because of the perception-reaction lag time, resulting in bullets hitting the body as the suspect falls."

Agency differences. Marked differences in performance were evident among the 6 departments that participated in Aveni's study. At the "highest-frequency" end of the scale, nearly half the officers from one agency shot unarmed suspects. The lowest frequency was compiled by an agency whose participating officers shot unarmed suspects 24% of the time. The rest ranged from 39% to 44%.

"The question will undoubtedly arise: 'What noted differences were there between the agency with the lowest frequency of mistake-of-fact shootings and the agency with the highest frequency?' " Aveni observes, noting that both these agencies patrol urban jurisdictions.

"The answer, simply put: 'It was a difference in training.' "

[In Part 2 of our report, we'll explore what that difference is, as well as other implications that Aveni's findings have for officer survival, training, investigations, policy-making, and courtroom defenses.]
 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 20, 2008, 02:44:13 AM

1. The March 2008 issue of the AELE Monthly Law Journal is online, with three new articles:

* Enforceability of Civil Liability Release Agreements

* Regulation of Off-Duty Activities - Sexual Conduct

* Legal Issues Pertaining to Inmate Property

Access the Law Journal's menu page at http://www.aele.org/law/MLJ2008MAR.html
 
2. The March 2008 issues of AELE's three periodicals have been uploaded. The current issues, back issues since 2000, three 30+ year case digests, and a search engine are FREE. Everyone is welcome to read, print or download AELE publications without charge. The main menu is at: http://www.aele.org/law
 
Among 100 different cases noted, there are several that warrant mention here:
 
*** Law Enforcement Liability Reporter ***

* Firearms Related: Intentional Use
Officer who fatally shot a a man outside his home was entitled to qualified immunity when the decedent had threatened to commit violent acts, was armed with a knife, refused to comply with repeated orders to drop the knife, and raised the knife blade above his shoulder and pointed it towards officers. Larsen v. Murr, #06-1094, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 25 (10th Cir.).
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/10th/061094p.pdf

* Restraint Asphyxia
Deputy sheriffs were not entitled to qualified immunity in a lawsuit claiming that they used excessive force in removing a morbidly obese man from a courtroom after he was found in contempt of court, causing him to die after several deputies allegedly placed themselves on his back while he was on the floor. Richman v. Sheahan, #07-1487, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 200 (7th Cir.). Viewable at: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/7th/071487p.pdf

*** Fire and Police Personnel Reporter ***

* Disciplinary Interviews
Divided Ninth Circuit panel rejects a civil rights suit brought by deputies that were required to remain on duty to assist superiors with a criminal investigation of an unlawful use of force. They were paid overtime, were allowed to contact counsel and were not treated like criminal suspects.

"A law enforcement officer is not seized for purposes of the Fourth Amendment simply because a supervisor orders him to remain at work after the termination of his shift or to come into the station to submit to questioning about the discharge of his duties as a peace officer."

Dissenting judge noted that the deputies "weren't told they were free to leave, and they weren't told they didn't have to answer questions." Aguilera v. Baca, #05-56617, 510 F.3d 1161 (9th Cir.). Viewable at: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/9th/0556617p.pdf

*** Jail and Prisoner Law Bulletin ***

* Religion
Two Rastafarian and three Muslim inmates lose their suit challenging a policy prohibiting them from wearing beards. The Fourth Circuit cited a need to suppress contraband, to maintain discipline, security, health and safety, and to prevent inmates from quickly changing their appearance. McRae v. Johnson, #06-7548, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 246 (4th Cir.). Viewable at http://pacer.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinion.pdf/067548.U.pdf
 
3. The Massachusetts Municipal Police Institute has published a 102 page Search Warrant Applications Manual, prepared by MPCA General Counsel Jack Collins. Although focused on Massachusetts law, it can be used as a model to prepare a similar document for other states. It can be downloaded in PDF format at:
http://www.municipalpoliceinstitute.org/documents/SEARCH_WARRANT_APPLICATIONS_MANUAL_Illustrated.pdf

4. Jack Collins also has authored two recent articles for Police Chief magazine:
* Salary Exempt Employees under the FLSA, Jan. 2008
* Handling Discrimination Retaliation Claims, Dec. 2007
Downloadable at http://policechiefmagazine.org/

AELE's 2008 seminar brochures are on the website at http://www.aele.org/Seminars.html
Title: LAPD's assault on SWAT
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 16, 2008, 11:37:49 AM
From the Opinion section of the LA Times:
===============================
Would you rather have an elite fighting force made up of the best cops, or of officers who 'look like L.A.'?
By Robert C.J. Parry
March 16, 2008
On a Sunday afternoon in the summer of 2005, Jose Peña fueled himself with cocaine and grabbed a 9-millimeter pistol. Waving the gun at the head of his 19-month-old daughter, Suzie, he told the LAPD officers who arrived at the scene that he was Tony Montana -- the character played by Al Pacino in "Scarface" -- and that he was going to kill his daughter and himself. He'd already shot at her sister and at the police, so the threat was believable.

The situation was straightforward: If an LAPD SWAT crisis negotiator couldn't dispel Peña's narcotic fantasies, the little girl's life would rest with a SWAT rescue team's ability to cross a 50-foot alley, access the building, find and enter the room he was in and save Suzie before Peña pulled the trigger.

Now imagine for a moment that you were in Suzie Peña's position. Would you want the police SWAT team coming through the door to be the best of the best -- the toughest, most highly trained, most elite tacticians in the Los Angeles Police Department -- or would you want the team to "look like L.A."? Would you want rescuers who had not lost a hostage in three decades, or would you want a team with heartwarming, multicultural diversity?

The answer is pretty obvious, no? You'd want the best. That's what Suzie got, and even so, the results were tragic. According to the L.A. district attorney's office, Jose Peña emerged from the building and a gunfight ensued. When Peña retreated to his office, four SWAT officers crossed the alley in a matter of seconds, entered the building, took fire through the walls -- fire that struck one officer -- and entered Peña's office. There, they exchanged more shots with the gunman, who was standing behind a desk with Suzie. In the chaos, both Jose and Suzie Peña were killed.

Suzie is the only hostage ever lost by LAPD SWAT during its 35 years.

Shortly after her death, Police Chief William J. Bratton appointed a board of inquiry to examine the incident. Its mission, he said, was to investigate the officers' tactics and other factors in the shooting. "For the safety of the public and officers, we need to understand intimately what transpired in that incident," he said at the time.

In fact, the board did nothing of the sort. None of the SWAT officers from the Peña shooting were even interviewed by the panel, according to multiple sources. Indeed, the board's eight members included fewer tactical experts (one) than attorneys (three). In its final report, the board acknowledged that it had been "ultimately precluded from gaining a full and complete understanding of what transpired in Peña until after this report was finalized."

What's more, Assistant Chief Sharon Papa privately promised the team shortly after the incident that the report would be aired openly, according to officers who were present. That didn't happen either. The final report -- completed 15 months ago -- has not been released. Many senior department officials have never seen it, and Times reporters have repeatedly requested it but have been turned down. I received a copy earlier this month from a source.

The report shows that instead of fulfilling Bratton's promises, the board used the Peña case (with Bratton's encouragement) as a way to push for a series of politically correct changes within SWAT -- changes that many cops believe will have absolutely no benefit and that they believe will endanger the lives of citizens and cops alike.

From the start -- before the panel examined any evidence -- Bratton made it clear that increasing SWAT's diversity was particularly important to him. In November 2005, he privately addressed the board about his goals for their inquiry. The final report quotes him: "I'm looking to create change within SWAT. The qualifications to get in are stringent. But are they too stringent? There are no women and few African Americans.... Are there artificial barriers for getting into SWAT that the 'good old boys' network has maintained?"

Bratton's assertion that SWAT has few African Americans is not accurate. Eight of the 63 SWAT members are black, sources say, -- even after the death of Officer Randal Simmons on Feb. 7. That's 12.6% in a department that is 12% African American.

Nevertheless, in keeping with Bratton's wishes, the final report devotes substantial space to how to bring in female and black officers. "The absence of women ... and the low number of African Americans in SWAT should be addressed and dealt with, and the membership of SWAT should be reflective of the community," the report says, although it offers no qualitative or quantitative evidence that this change would save a single life or lead to a single suspect's apprehension. The unit, the report says, has become "insular, self-referential and resistant to change."

The report goes on to say that "there is no task in SWAT that a woman could not perform" and that the selection criteria has "underemphasized negotiating skills, patience, empathy and flexibility while overemphasizing physical prowess and tactical acumen."

But SWAT officers who have actually entered houses to rescue hostages from killers (as they did Feb. 7 in Winnetka, resulting in the death of Simmonsand the wounding of Officer James Veenstra) say there is no such thing as overemphasizing tactical acumen or physical prowess for such assignments.

Yes, they say, there are probably women on the force who could and should be admitted to SWAT, but they should be required to meet the same standards as other applicants and should be chosen for skill, not for diversity. The reality, SWAT members say, is that the standards for tactical success apply to everyone equally. Upper-body strength is vital to holding a 12-pound rifle stone-steady to hit a deranged killer while avoiding his hostage in a whirlwind of chaos.

In general, the final board report offers little or no persuasive evidence as to why SWAT should change. "SWAT performs in a disciplined and exemplary manner consistent with its fine reputation," the report acknowledges. "It has been and remains a source of great pride within the LAPD."

In fact, according to the report itself, out of 3,771 missions SWAT has performed from 1972 to 2005, suspects have been apprehended without any "untoward" incident in 83% of the cases. (The report does not define "untoward.") It notes that SWAT members have killed a suspect only 31 times in 33 years -- that's less than 1% of all engagements, often with the city's most deranged and violent criminals.

What's more, SWAT has lost only one hostage -- Suzie Peña -- and the way to ensure it doesn't happen again is to maintain and raise standards, not to lower them out of political correctness.

None of that matters, though, to the brass. "Bratton wants a woman on SWAT regardless of whether she's 110 pounds soaking wet and completely incapable of pulling 200 pounds of Jimmy Veenstra and his gear out of a house in the middle of a gunfight," said one officer who survived the Winnetka shootout in which Veenstra was extracted by his teammates while under fire.

Based on the findings of the report, the LAPD has just instituted a new selection process for SWAT, according to a SWAT veteran who helped in the redesign. Instead of picking cops on the basis of their ability to handle weapons and stress, the new standards specifically exclude video-based shooting simulator evaluations and "Hogan's Alley," a daunting series of pop-up targets representing armed crooks and hostages. A simulated raid with flash-bang devices that previously disqualified many candidates who accidentally shot the "hostage" is also gone.

The new test's only physical challenges are a modest physical fitness qualification and a modified obstacle course. "My preteen daughter could pass that," one officer said. Applicants' scores will now largely come from an oral interview conducted by non-SWAT and non-LAPD supervisors. In essence, the test is largely subjective.



Another coming change that SWAT officers criticize is one that would allow officers from anywhere in the department to apply to SWAT, rather than limiting it (as it has historically been limited) to officers from the elite Metropolitan Division. SWAT had argued to the board that continued selection from Metro was "a nearly fail-safe way to select the best of the best," and the final board report acknowledged that using only applicants from Metro "has produced remarkable cohesion, consistency, mutual trust and commonality of outlook."

But the board of inquiry ultimately claimed that including people from other divisions "could bring a wider perspective and greater gender and racial diversity." So the plan to broaden the pool of applicants is expected to go into effect next year.

There are a variety of innocuous recommendations in the board report, such as improvements in risk management, trend analysis and data analysis. The report calls for new accountability measures, including "Compstat-like accountability." (Compstat is Bratton's signature system for tracking crime trends.) The report also recommends providing all personnel with take-home cars, something the team has requested for years.

But it is the change in the selection process and the opening up of SWAT to applicants from outside Metro that have motivated SWAT officers' wives to launch an unusual e-mail campaign directed at Bratton and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, stating in part: "We are concerned with the safety of our husbands ... if they are expected to go into these highly dangerous situations with someone who got in under a compromised standard."

The report says, "SWAT culture and insularity pose a certain danger to the LAPD and the Los Angeles community as a whole." But the report is based on misconceptions.

SWAT is not a lily-white redoubt of old prejudices. Simmons and Veenstra (who is of Asian ancestry) illustrate this. Suzie Peña's attempted rescuers had names like Perez, Sanchez and Gallegos. Bratton may not know this; at the annual SWAT dinner, I saw him come in and talk to a couple of senior managers and deputy chiefs for 30 minutes and then leave, having barely acknowledged the officers -- black, white, Latino or otherwise. That evening, he forfeited his last chance to talk to Simmons, who died 10 days later.

SWAT is too important to this city to be weakened in the name of political correctness. Unless the Police Commission or other officials act, the LAPD will make social experimentation a higher priority than tactical excellence.

Robert C.J. Parry is a businessman working on a book about his experiences in the Army National Guard in Iraq.


Title: Force Science News
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 25, 2008, 06:10:06 AM
Force Science News #94



In this issue:

1 officer's pain is others' gain, as her shooting becomes a catalyst for change



   
When a 52-year-old man-shirtless, coked up and bleeding from self-inflicted wounds-lunged at Shannon Brady and her partner with a "serious" folding knife in the cramped kitchen of a small adobe house in Santa Fe, she was prepared to react. She shot him dead.

What she hadn't anticipated or trained for was what happened after the smoke cleared.

Once she had a bitter taste of that, she had a mission. "I didn't want other officers to go through what I did," she says. "Changes needed to be made."

In the 18 months since her life-or-death encounter, post-shooting practices affecting the 140-plus officers on her department, Santa Fe PD, have seen some "major improvement," Police Ofcr. IV Mark Barnett, president of the Santa Fe Police Officers Assn., told Force Science News. "We didn't put our head in the sand and say everything went fine because it certainly didn't. We've tried to learn and make things better."

"This is a good example of how negatives that too often accompany officer-involved shootings can be turned into positives, with the right perspective and determination," says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato. "Instead of lingering as a permanent source only of resentment and anger, this shooting has become a catalyst for the kind of changes that are needed in many departments across the country."

The call that hurled Brady into the first shooting of her career was dispatched as an "ambulance assist." A frantic woman, calling from one of Santa Fe's rough-and-tumble neighborhoods, blurted that a man had stabbed himself in the chest. Little more information seemed to be available.

It was Labor Day weekend, 2006, at the tail-dragging end of Brady's 2-to-midnight swing shift. Still on probationary status, she'd been on patrol with SFPD only about 9 months, having transferred there after 3 years with a sheriff's department near Albuquerque. The address of the call was not far from where she'd come close to shooting a teenager who'd pulled a gun on her during a tense showdown a few months earlier.

When she and Sgt. Troy Baker arrived, they found the crowded residence in an uproar, complete with a hysterical grandma, 3 girls under 14 ("all intoxicated"), the subject's girlfriend (drunk and bleeding profusely from stab wounds), and the subject himself, concealed somewhere in the place with a knife that had a 41/2-in. blade.

The 2 officers were in the kitchen, trying to tend to the girlfriend who was slumped in a chair with a pool of blood widening at her feet, when the suspect-"big guy, no shirt, with visible cuts or stab wounds"-suddenly popped out of hiding, just a few steps from them.

"He raised the knife above his head and started closing toward us," Brady recalls. "There was no place to retreat. All I could see was that blade. It looked huge."

She and Baker both screamed, "Knife!" and commanded the suspect to drop the weapon. "He kept coming," Brady says. Almost simultaneously, Baker discharged a Taser and Brady squeezed the trigger on her Glock-22.

She can't remember firing that round, a fact that still troubles her. The bullet tore through the suspect's belt buckle and exited his body near his rectum. She shot again. This time, "I could see the bullet peel his skin" as it punched in, center mass. I remember his breath against me, I felt his knuckles brush across my hand" as he fell. He was pronounced at the hospital.

Officer-involved shootings in Santa Fe are investigated by the New Mexico State Police, a precaution against accusations of bias. The insensitivities that came to earmark Brady's shooting began during the delay while SP investigators responded, and escalated exponentially.

Brady and Baker were kept at the scene for nearly 5 hours, much of that time outdoors where "I sat on an ice cold curb," she remembers. Her request for a jacket had to be cleared through the chain of command, apparently for fear that complying might "alter the shooting environment" from an evidence standpoint.

Once, she and Baker were driven to a substation about a mile away for a bathroom break. They were put in the caged back seat of a marked unit, "like we were criminals," Baker says). "All they didn't do was handcuff us. It was not an atmosphere where you could get your mind off what just happened and try to wind down."

After about 3 hours, Brady was told to surrender her pistol. "I was left with an empty holster in that dangerous neighborhood" during the time it took to scrounge up a replacement from the department armorer.

The shooting occurred about midnight. It was well after daylight before Brady finally got to her home, an hour away in Albuquerque. She was scheduled to be back in Santa Fe that afternoon for her formal interview in the SP's criminal investigation. "I tried to sleep, I really did, but I was too keyed up," she says.

Because of her probationary status, she was not automatically eligible for legal representation through the Officers Assn., but the union provided her with a seasoned police lawyer, Fred Mowrer, anyway. "He did an excellent job preparing me, and I felt so grateful," she says.

She was able to doze off for about 30 minutes at the SP station just before the interview. Aside from that, she says she had been awake for more than 46 hours before walking in to face 2 hours of interrogation for the most important statement of her career.

Two days later, Brady and Baker had their only contact with the city's contract psychologist. "She took us to a room where she said we'd 'blend in' with people who were testing to become motor transport inspectors," Baker remembers. Brady says, "We had to take an entry-level exam and were given the MMPI [the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, a common mental health test]. We were interviewed briefly by the psychologist and declared fit for duty."

She says no inquiry was made regarding how they were feeling about the shooting, no explanation was given about possible critical incident stress symptoms or how to deal with them and no offer of counseling was extended. Through the union, it was arranged for them to talk briefly by phone with a volunteer firefighter who supposedly had training in stress debriefing, but neither felt he could even begin to identify with their situation.

Without further ceremony, they went back on the street. The city's annual Fiestas festival, marked by the bacchanalian burning of a marionette called Old Man Gloom, was at hand and maximum manpower was needed.

Brady's husband, a sergeant and officer-involved shooting investigator with the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Dept. in Albuquerque, "put me in touch with a police psychologist who works with his people," Brady says, and as a personal favor he helped her cope with the shooting and its aftermath. "Otherwise, I would have been left in the cold."

Meanwhile, the dead suspect's girlfriend, recovered from her injuries, claimed through the media that the 2 officers had tackled her boyfriend and pinned him to the floor while Brady summarily executed him with her 2 rounds. In the absence of a thorough debriefing for all personnel, rumors flew through the department regarding the circumstances of the shooting and about Brady and Baker personally.

They were heartened when Chief Eric Johnson publicly declared his complete confidence in their actions. Johnson released 911 tapes of the event, which provided an audio documentation of what happened, down to the shots being fired. A captain sat with a reporter from the local newspaper and "went second by second over the recording," Brady says. The resulting article "was very favorable and saved my reputation."

Still, it was some 5 weeks after the shooting before a county grand jury finally exonerated the officers of any criminal wrongdoing. And only after that, Brady says, did IA investigators get around to interviewing her and eventually declaring her clear of any departmental violations, as well-an infuriating lag that seemed to unnecessarily prolong the stress of the ordeal, especially considering that an IA investigator had sat in on the SP interviews just hours after the shooting.

Brady, known to be as outspoken as she proved to be resilient, was not content to let her grievances drop once the dust settled and her emotional battering abated. Her husband, Sgt. Mark Kmatz, says: "Her perspective was 'I can't change what happened to me, but I want to make it better for other officers in the future.' That's where she has directed her efforts."

Mark Barnett, who became president of the Officers Assn. just a month before the shooting, and members of the union's board have become Brady's staunch allies, joining her in lobbying for more humane on-scene procedures and investigative practices, easier access to psychological counseling and debriefings, and better training in survival tactics and post-shooting coping skills. Brady supplied articles from Force Science News on proper post-shooting procedures to buttress the arguments for change.

A significant achievement, in Barnett's view, has been getting the cooperation of SFPD's command staff so that the union can remove involved officers from a shooting scene expeditiously. "As soon as reasonably possible," they're taken to "some neutral place where they can feel comfortable" and where they can be with a "buddy" of their choosing, protected from the media and from curious, uninvolved officers who may have intrusive questions and comments.

"They can call home, calm down and begin to collect their thoughts in a peaceful atmosphere," Barnett says. "Psychologists have told us this is one of the best things we can do."

Four months after Brady's incident, Sgt. Kyle Zuments, a 12-year SFPD veteran, shot a car-theft suspect after a wild pursuit during Santa Fe's evening rush hour. Zuments himself took a round to the vest ("friendly fire," as it turned out, from one of several officers involved in the chaotic confrontation). Even with a trip to the hospital for his blunt-trauma wound and a conference with the union attorney, Zuments says he was comfortably at home-"in my recliner with an ice pack on my stomach and eating a ham sandwich"-well before his shift normally would have ended.

"The difference between the handling of Shannon's shooting and mine was night and day," he says. Among other things, besides the immediate post-shooting expediency, he was allowed time to be fully rested before sitting down for the SP's official interview.... SFPD's command staff sanctioned and joined in a candid debriefing among all officers involved in the confrontation, which Zuments says "resolved lots of issues" and provided "great support."... He was given 10 days' administrative leave before having to return to work.... At his insistence, he says, the department agreed to pay for counseling for all the involved officers from the Albuquerque psychologist who had privately come to Brady's aid and a colleague. "All this was huge," Zuments says.

Establishing a permanent arrangement for mental health services from sources who understand law enforcement and are respected by officers is high on the union's list for additional improvements, Barnett says.

As part of that agenda, the Officers Assn. and the department have combined to send Sgt. Baker and the department chaplain to a nationally recognized training course on critical incident stress management, with an eye toward creating "a shooting response team that would include a support group of peers." The union also now offers a debriefing, with a psychologist facilitating, to all officers who were working on the day of a shooting, Barnett says, in acknowledgement that a life-threatening event impacts more personnel than just the officers immediately involved.

Barnett and Brady say they intend to continue pushing hard for other changes that "haven't quite happened yet." These include more timely IA investigations. Zuments points out that it took 1 year to the day after his shooting before he received an exoneration letter from Internal Affairs. When he complained during the long delay, he claims he was told, "We have cases that are a lot more high-priority than yours." He observes: "I discharged my weapon in traffic at a crowded intersection, a suspect was shot, a sergeant was shot, and this is not a priority?"

Brady acknowledges that improvements "are still a work in progress," but she's encouraged by the results so far. "The administration-the department as a whole, really-is definitely coming around to a better understanding of how a shooting impacts an officer," she says. "I know that a lot of the things that really bugged me will never happen again."

As this report was being researched, Santa Fe police were involved in another shooting. A middle-aged suspect was shot dead after he opened fire on officers and sheriff's deputies with a Tec-9 during a vehicle pursuit.

A few days later, we asked Mark Barnett how things were going with the aftermath of that incident. "Perfect," he said. "We really have learned a lot."

 

 
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Title: DEA Agents losing guns faster than every
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 29, 2008, 08:37:48 AM
Is That a Gun in Your Wastebasket, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?
DEA Agents Lose Their Weapons Faster Than Ever, According to a New DOJ Report

BY JUSTIN ROOD
March 28, 2008

How do Drug Enforcement Administration special agents lose their guns?
Faster than ever, according to a new report from the Department of Justice inspector general. From 2002 to 2007, DEA lost 91 weapons, the audit found. The DEA isn't always reporting the losses of weapons or laptop computers to the proper authorities, and when it does, it often comes weeks -- even years -- after the fact.

But just how do the guns disappear? Let us count the ways.
"Special agent left weapon on roof of car and drove off," reads one incident description. In his report released today, Inspector General Glenn A. Fine included descriptions of how each weapon was said to have been lost.
"May have fallen into trash basket at work," read another. "Left weapon in supermarket." "Left weapon on airplane." One report sounded like it was filed by an agent on Larry Craig patrol, "Left weapon in airport restroom."

The thieves were often brazen. "Stolen from hotel room -- Special Agent out on balcony," one report stated. "Weapon stolen [from] purse while at social function at bar in Jamaica." "It was believed a carpet installer stole it." At least once, the alleged culprit was a family member, "Weapon stolen by Special Agent's son."

But the most common incident, by far, were guns stolen from agents' official or personal vehicles while they were otherwise engaged -- despite DEA regulations which prohibit leaving weapons unattended in autos.

"Stolen from an official government vehicle parked at restaurant while Special Agent had lunch." "Stolen from official government vehicle while agent was exercising." Stolen "while agent was shopping," from a car parked "at a summer rental house," "from official government vehicle parked at convenience store while Special Agent was buying coffee." One was even reportedly stolen from an agent's car while he was at a middle school football game.

Asked about the reported losses, DEA spokesman Garrison Courtney said the investigations would have been handled by DEA itself. "Any of those instances would be referred to our internal investigating arm," Courtney said. "We would take the appropriate actions to make sure the agents are educated on how to handle their weapons appropriately."
Title: Fresno Student Shot, Killed by Police Officer After Bat Attack
Post by: Kaju Dog on April 16, 2008, 02:55:57 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,351502,00.html (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,351502,00.html)

FRESNO, Calif.  —  A 17-year-old high school sophomore was shot and killed Wednesday by a police officer on campus.

The officer, identified as Tom Perry, fired after the student at Roosevelt High School allegedly hit the officer with a baseball bat, police said.

Perry walked out of an office and was struck with a baseball bat, falling backwards and then to the ground. While trying to draw his weapon, the gun fell to the ground.

He grabbed his second weapon from his ankle holster and fired at least once at the approaching student who was still holding the bat.

The incident occurred just before 12 p.m. Officers arriving at the scene attempted CPR on the student.

An 18-year-old student said her mother, who is a resource teacher at the school, saw everything.

"She was walking her students back to class when she saw a boy push the officer and the officer shot the boy and the boy died at the scene," Gardy Zuniga told the Fresno Bee, adding the student had been in trouble recently and was allegedly armed with a gun.

Perry is employed by the police department as the school's resource officer. The officer's condition was not immediately released.


--------------------------------------


Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Guide Dog on April 17, 2008, 08:29:41 AM
I work at an intermediate school (7th-8th) in southern California.  We have a lot more than some schools only a few miles away and a lot less than others also not that far away.  We have had some terrible incidents this academic year.  School violence of any kind or at any level makes the school environment unbearable.  I have never felt a climate as negative or as fearful than at the present in the educational system of California, and I have lived here my entire life.  I get to meet educators from all over the state and all over the country for that matter.  There is a real sense of the system collapsing in on itself. 

Educators are not perfect.  However, many armchair critics like to bash teachers and education in general.  From my experience, for every teacher who sits at their desk all day and reads the paper, there are three who are doing everything they can to be effective in the classroom.  It's challenging because no teacher, no matter how hard they work can change students' perceptions about the relative value of the education they are receiving.  If the parents pass on the message that it doesn't matter or that "the old man always got in trouble and look how successful he is now", that is what students will bring with them.

I have such respect for all of the law enforcement folks I have met during my martial arts adventure.  I really feel like I am the line right before these brave people, just in the sense that if my students fail to meet me halfway and develop themselves, the folks in law enforcement are waiting for them.  I know that is something a bit cliched or that only a teacher would say, but I have seen it over and over again.  I am aware of a male high school student from a local district located a few miles east of my district.  The school district he was a part of had an amazing academic record and amazing resources.  In a few weeks of starting high school, this student found himself with friends that were all wrong for him.  Within a few weeks he found his way into juvenile hall.  His first day in the facility, he said something stupid to somebody stupid, had a broomstick broken over his head, and was raped.

Sorry to be dramatic.  I have a million stories from only five years of public school teaching that you wouldn't believe.  The educational system in our country is failing our kids, or maybe they are failing it.  I don't know anymore.  What I do know is that (here it comes, another teacher cliche) it is going to take buy-in from everyone to improve it.

My heart goes out to everyone involved in the incident, and everyone involved in that school.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 17, 2008, 10:10:52 PM
Amen to that -- and kudos to the officer.
Title: Deputy Tased, Hogtied, Paraded Through Town
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 23, 2008, 06:40:45 AM


http://www.policelink.com/news/18269-deputy-tased-hogtied-paraded-through-town?referral=pl_nlet

ROCKLAND, Maine — The Attorney General’s Office is investigating an incident in which a Knox County deputy sheriff was shocked with a Taser, hogtied and paraded around downtown Camden in the back of a pickup truck last summer.

“I can confirm that we are reviewing it for Sheriff [Donna] Dennison,” said Brian MacMaster, chief of the Investigation Division for the Office of Attorney General. “Beyond that, I can’t comment.

“We don’t comment on any of our investigations,” MacMaster added.

The weekly newspaper Village Soup obtained a video that shows approximately 10 men outdoors at what is believed to be a bachelor party when the Taser is used. The groom-to-be drops to the ground and the other men bind him before covering him with oil and feathers.

Dennison said the Taser didn’t come from the Sheriff’s Department. The agency doesn’t have any Tasers.

Interim County Administrator Jeffrey Northgraves said Monday that he, Dennison, Knox County Commissioners Mason Johnson and Anne Beebe-Center, jail administrator Maj. John Hinkley and Chief Deputy Ernest McIntosh were invited to the Village Soup office in Rockland on Thursday, April 10, to watch the video before it was released to the public.

“It was the first time any of us had seen it,” Northgraves said. “We didn’t think to ask how Village Soup acquired the video.”

Commissioner Johnson on Monday called the tape an “eye-opener.”

“The only comment I can make is that it was just a total surprise,” Johnson said. “I hardly even knew about the Taser in itself.

“I saw the film and saw how the fellow went down when they pulled the trigger,” he said. “It’s kind of scary. I don’t think it’s a device that would be used in any kind of formal party to celebrate any event with anybody.”

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Johnson said the Taser should be used only in an emergency “to catch somebody.”

“That’s not a plaything, in my opinion,” Johnson said of the Taser.

He added that the party was something officials would have to “frown at, for safety and other reasons.”

Johnson said he understood that the deputy who was involved in the bachelor party is now working as a Maine state trooper.

According to an earlier Bangor Daily News story, a Taser is a powerful weapon that can fire 50,000 volts of electricity into a criminal. The Taser, an acronym for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle,” named after the fictional teenage inventor and adventure character Tom Swift, is aimed with a red laser beam that fires two probes a distance of up to 21 feet from a replaceable cartridge.

More than 60 public safety agencies in Maine have Tasers, but their use is somewhat controversial to some who think it is a violent overreaction.

Amnesty International, a worldwide human rights group, has reviewed the cases of 152 people who have died in the United States after being shocked by a Taser. The organization has called for suspension of the use of Tasers and urged further studies of their effectiveness.

(c) 2008 YellowBrix, Inc.
Title: Single Officer vs. Active Killer
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 10, 2008, 07:26:43 AM
Force Science News #97



In this issue:

I. Ohio trainer makes the case for single-officer entry against active killers

II. Force Science News to be translated for 14,000 French-speaking officers



   
I. Ohio trainer makes the case for single-officer entry against active killers

If you're a patrol officer who's first on the scene of an active-shooter call, should you make immediate entry in hunt for the suspect...or wait for other early responders and improvise a rapid deployment team?

Since the Columbine massacre 9 years ago, few if any trainers any longer advocate delaying for a formal SWAT call-out, which can take 30 minutes or more in some areas. But commonly a hasty assembly of 3 or more officers for a search-and-confrontation team is recommended, with coordinated movement tactics taught accordingly.

To trainer Ron Borsch, a 30-year law enforcement veteran who manages the small SEALE (South East Area Law Enforcement) Regional Training Academy in Bedford, Ohio, that's a deadly waste of time when seconds can mean lives.

Based on his on-going research of active-shooter realities, he's convinced that single-officer entries can potentially lessen the toll of casualties while exposing the responders involved to little additional risk. Although popular law enforcement literature has just lately begun to explore the single-officer concept, Borsch has promoted the idea to in-service trainees for more than 2 years and has taught solo- and 2-officer entry-action models in academy courses for the past year. And he finds that administrators whose officers are exposed to this approach generally accept it enthusiastically.

"We offer this report not necessarily as a tactical advisory but as an example of one trainer's effort to give tactical instruction a research base," explains Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato. "We offer it for your thoughtful consideration and we'd be interested in hearing comments from our readers on Ron Borsch's conclusions." If you have comments, please e-mail the editor.

"Time is our worst adversary in dealing with active killers," Borsch told Force Science News. "We're racing what I call 'the Stopwatch of Death.' Victims are often added to the toll every several seconds."

Where times have been reliably documented, the average post-Columbine "rapid mass murder episode" lasts just 8 minutes, according to Borsch's calculations. "The murderer's timeline begins when he says it begins. Any prevention, deterrence or delay efforts have failed at that point, and the police are handicapped with catching up whenever they are notified."

To have any hope of successfully intervening in a slaughter spree under the usual tight time strictures, law enforcement "needs to get less manpower on site sooner." Training LEOs to wait even moments to form an impromptu entry team shows that "our country's tactical community at large has failed to do its homework and to evolve strategies that accurately reflect the known methods of operation and patterns of active killers," Borsch asserts. "Law enforcement has already proved many times over that we can arrive 'too late with too many' and spend too much time gathering pre-entry intelligence. Now we need to fix what is obviously a broken strategy."

Borsch, who logged 17 years as a part-time SWAT team member before retiring from street work, has analyzed more than 90 active-shooter incidents on the basis of data largely ferreted out from Internet reports. Most involved schools and colleges, but workplaces, shopping malls, churches and other public places are also represented. Among his findings that have helped shape his tactical thinking:

• 98% of active killers act alone.

• 80% have long guns, 75% have multiple weapons (about 3 per incident), and they sometimes bring hundreds of extra rounds of ammunition to the shooting site.

• Despite such heavy armaments and an obsession with murder at close range, they have an average hit rate of less than 50%.

• They strike "stunned, defenseless innocents via surprise ambush. On a level playing field, the typical active killer would be a no-contest against anyone reasonably capable of defending themselves."

• "They absolutely control life and death until they stop at their leisure or are stopped." They do not take hostages, do not negotiate.

• They generally try to avoid police, do not hide or lie in wait for officers and "typically fold quickly upon armed confrontation."

• 90% commit suicide on-site. "Surrender or escape attempts are unlikely."

Because active shooters seem so intent on killing, it's often difficult to convince first responders that "this bad guy is one of the easiest man-with-gun encounters they will ever have," Borsch observes. "Most officers have already faced worse opponents from a personal safety standpoint than these creeps."

He believes the profile he has drawn should "empower officers with probable cause to believe that they can successfully prevail against the predictable patterns of these mass murderers" if they arrive in time to abort an actual attack.

From their experience in dealing with "a myriad of urgent circumstances" in their normal work, street officers are "already quite used to a multi-tiered response that begins with one officer, with backup en route." A solo officer entering an active-killer scene "has a virtual guarantee that an avalanche of manpower is coming fast behind him," so he won't be alone for long.

Once into the scene, to further gain confidence in advancing aggressively toward the suspect, officers need to understand the nature of these killers. Unlike conventional criminal predators, who often have no reluctance about attacking police, active shooters tend to be "cowardly," Borsch says.

"They choose unarmed, defenseless innocents for a reason: They have no wish to encounter someone who can hurt them. They are personally risk- and pain-avoidant. The tracking history of these murderers has proved them to be unlikely to be aggressive with police. If pressed, they are more likely to kill themselves." In his research, he has found no evidence of any LEO in the U.S. yet being wounded or killed in an active-shooting incident where mass murder was intended or accomplished.

"Officers need to understand valid military principles that apply to these calls, such as speed, surprise and violence of action," Borsch insists. "They need to learn how to close in and finish the fight with aggression, having and keeping the 'momentum of battle' on their side. The idea is to keep the adversary off-balance by forcing him always to react to your actions, rather than, after contact, reacting to him."

For example, once an active killer is spotted, Borsch favors the swift application of deadly force over seeking defensive cover in most instances. "An unintentional consequence of going to cover may be to lose sight of the offender, allowing him to gain the momentum of battle and shoot more defenseless innocents until he says it's over."

SEALE's active-killer countermeasures, taught through a course called Tactical First Responder, bypass traditional instruction in team formations and movement. These can be important in a mass murder response, Borsch says--but only later, during a search-and-rescue phase. What's realistically needed by the first one or two patrol officers to arrive at a scene--"the first of the first responders"--are instruction and practice in how to enter, move and confront the threat alone.

Thus after a briefing on the predictable patterns of offender behavior that his research has revealed, the trainees concentrate on perfecting a swift zig-zag movement down hallways, on mastering an accelerated slicing-the-pie technique for taking corners, on maneuvering up and down stairways with a patrol rifle (the response weapon of choice, given the killer's likely armaments), and on using sight, sound, smell and intuition to gather intel that will help them close quickly on the threat. "We practice until there's no speed less than rapid."

If an officer enters a school in response to an active-killer call "he may see or hear nothing out of order initially," Borsch says. "The place may be in lock-down and there may be hundreds of rooms, some of them quite distant and out of earshot, where the killer could be wreaking havoc.

"The officer may have to set out in a direction with little guidance and cover a lot of ground until he comes across something. In these situations, intelligence often belongs only to those who go get it. But what's the alternative--just stop and wait? The killing may be continuing while you hear nothing."

Single-officer entry has been a controversial concept, Borsch says, but he senses that the tide is starting to turn. In a recent issue of Law and Order Magazine, hardly an advocate of radical innovation, the executive director of the National Assn. of School Resource Officers wrote in an article aimed as police chiefs, "Training CANNOT be limited to the active shoot training where three, four or more officers respond and form a team." At SEALE, Borsch has found that chiefs whose officers have completed the First Responder course often want their personnel to repeat the training to reinforce the single-entry precepts. Some departments have also hired him as a consultant to evaluate and revise their active-killer protocols.

"A slow-and-methodical approach--what I call 'tactical loitering'--is still appropriate for most types of police encounters," Borsch says. "Dynamic active killers are a unique problem. With time as a relentless enemy, an officer has a choice to make: does he or she take the risk of going in alone...or are potential victims left to the mercy of a rogue human while the officer stays safe?"

Even with an immediate solo entry, Borsch concedes, police may not find the killer until his bloodletting is over. But saving time by "getting called early enough and taking action early enough," he argues, still offers the best chance for mitigating casualties.

Aided by his research, "we prepare the officers' mind first, then work on the motor skills in hallways, stairwells and rooms," Borsch says. To motivate courage, he hangs the walls of his training classroom with photographs of victims and their active shooters. "The victims' pictures are big," he explains. "Those of the killers are small. They're worthless cowards. The innocent people who may be their victims if we don't stop them are what matter."
 
Title: Testilying
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 12, 2008, 10:43:04 AM
NYC Police Face Disbelief in Court Over Gun Searches

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

May 12, 2008

Police in Gun Searches Face Disbelief in Court

By BENJAMIN WEISER
After listening carefully to the two policemen, the judge had a problem: He did not believe them.

The officers, who had stopped a man in the Bronx and found a .22-caliber pistol in his fanny pack, testified that they had several reasons to search him: He was loitering, sweating nervously and had a bulge under his jacket.

But the judge, John E. Sprizzo of United States District Court in Manhattan, concluded that the police had simply reached into the pack without cause, found the gun, then “tailored” testimony to justify the illegal search. “You can’t have open season on searches,” said Judge Sprizzo, who refused to allow the gun as evidence, prompting prosecutors to drop the case last May.

Yet for all his disapproval of what the police had done, the judge said he hated to make negative rulings about officers’ credibility. “I don’t like to jeopardize their career and all the rest of it,” he said.

He need not have worried. The Police Department never learned of his criticism, and the officers — like many others whose word has been called into question — faced no disciplinary action or inquiry.

Over the last six years, the police and prosecutors have cooperated in a broad effort that allows convicted felons found with a firearm to be tried in federal court, where sentences are much harsher than in state court. Officials say the initiative has taken hundreds of armed criminals off the street, mostly in the Bronx and Brooklyn, and turned some into informers who have helped solve more serious crimes.

But a closer look at those prosecutions reveals something that has not been trumpeted: more than 20 cases in which judges found police officers’ testimony to be unreliable, inconsistent, twisting the truth, or just plain false. The judges’ language was often withering: “patently incredible,” “riddled with exaggerations,” “unworthy of belief.”

The outrage usually stopped there. With few exceptions, judges did not ask prosecutors to determine whether the officers had broken the law, and prosecutors did not notify police authorities about the judges’ findings. The Police Department said it did not monitor the rulings and was aware of only one of them; after it learned about the cases recently from a reporter, a spokesman said the department would decide whether further review was needed.

Though the number of cases is small, the lack of consequences for officers may seem surprising, given that a city commission on police corruption in the 1990s pinpointed tainted testimony as a problem so pervasive that the police even had a word for it: “testilying.”

And these cases may fuel another longtime concern that flared up again in recent days: suspicions that the police routinely subject people to unjustified searches, frisks or stops. Last week, the Police Department reported a spike in street stops, which it said were “an essential law enforcement tool”: 145,098 from January through March, more than during any quarter in six years.

The judges’ rulings emerge from what are called suppression hearings, in which defendants, before trial, can argue that evidence was seized illegally. The Fourth Amendment sets limits on the conditions that permit a search; if they are not met, judges must exclude the evidence, even if that means allowing a guilty person to go free.

Prosecutors and police officials say many of the suppressions stem from difficult, split-second judgments that officers must make in potentially dangerous situations about whether to search someone for a weapon — decisions that are not always easy to reconstruct in a courtroom.

But one former federal judge, John S. Martin Jr., said the rulings are meant to deter serious abuses by the police. “The reason you suppress,” he said, “is to stop cops from going up to people and searching them when they don’t have reason.”

Federal judges rarely suppress evidence, Judge Martin said, and the unusual number of suppressions in New York City gun cases raises questions about whether such tactics may be common. “We don’t have the statistics for all the people who are hassled, no gun is found, and they never get into the system,” he said.

Whatever one makes of the legal debate, these cases offer a revealing glimpse into some police practices — in the street and on the witness stand — that have gone largely unexamined outside the courtroom.

‘A Dismal Record’

In one case, the officer explained that he had a special technique for detecting who was hiding a gun. He had learned it from a newspaper article that described certain clues to watch for: a hand brushing a pocket, a lopsided gait, a jacket or sweater that seems mismatched or out of season.

That was one reason, he told a judge, that he was certain the man he saw outside a Brooklyn housing project last September was concealing a gun. The man, Anthony McCrae, had moved his hand along the front of his waistband, as if moving a weapon, the officer said. Sure enough, a search turned up a gun.

The judge, John Gleeson of Brooklyn federal court, asked the officer, Kaz Daughtry, how successful his method had been in other cases.

Officer Daughtry replied that over a three-day period, he and his partner had stopped 30 to 50 people. One had a gun.

Calling that a “dismal record,” the judge said the officer’s technique was “little more than guesswork.”

Moreover, Judge Gleeson said he did not believe that Officer Daughtry could even have seen the gesture he found so suspicious: Mr. McCrae’s hand was in front of him and the officer was about 30 feet behind.

The judge would not allow the gun as evidence, and on April 24, federal prosecutors dropped the charges. A law enforcement official said the Brooklyn district attorney’s office learned of the ruling and was reviewing Officer Daughtry’s other cases to see if there were problems.

The Police Department declined to make Officer Daughtry, or any other officers, available for comment.
====
Cont.

The decisions to suppress, which The New York Times found by interviewing lawyers and examining more than 1,000 court dockets since 2002, came from 18 federal judges in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Several rulings involved police raids on homes without warrants — and judges’ doubts that the owners had consented to a search, as the police claimed and the law requires.

In one case, a group of officers investigating a fatal shooting in 2002 entered an apartment in the Bronx and arrested a man named Justice Taylor after finding a shotgun in a bedroom. Sgt. Brian Branigan, who led the search, testified in federal court in Manhattan that Mr. Taylor had given the officers permission to enter.

But Mr. Taylor denied that. Two other officers did not mention his giving consent. And the judge, Jed S. Rakoff, said that Sergeant Branigan “felt the need to embellish his account with details indicating consent that the court finds unbelievable.”

Judge Rakoff even took issue with the demeanor of the sergeant, “whose cockiness was evident even on the stand.” His apparent “disregard for niceties,” the judge wrote, made it “wholly plausible” that he had forced his way into the apartment.

The case was dismissed, and the city, while denying liability, paid $280,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit by Mr. Taylor and others in the apartment.

In another case, a judge did more than cast doubt on an officer’s testimony. She proved it wrong.

The judge, Laura Taylor Swain, heard the officer, Sean Lynch, testify that he had shined his flashlight through the window of a parked sport utility vehicle one night in the Bronx and had seen a gun. The driver’s lawyer said that Officer Lynch could not have seen the gun because the car’s windows were heavily tinted.

So after sunset one evening in January 2006, the judge walked outside the Manhattan federal courthouse and shined a flashlight into the vehicle. She could see nothing.

Her inspection and other evidence, she wrote, “give the lie” to Officer Lynch’s account, which she called “impossible.” Prosecutors dropped the case.

The police, to be sure, have a difficult job trying to root out guns without overstepping the law. Some judges acknowledged this in court, saying they believed not that officers had lied, but rather that they had failed to recall an event accurately, perhaps because of its brevity, a limited vantage point or the subsequent passage of time.

And some expressed sympathy for the police. Judge Gleeson said in one case that while he found two officers’ testimony contradictory, he did not want to imply they had lied.

“I’m always reluctant in these circumstances, having been in the executive branch myself, having a feel for the consequences of an adverse credibility determination — I’m sensitive to it,” he said last November.

Judges typically do not discuss cases, but some have said that, in general, it is not their responsibility to follow up their criticisms of officers. The rulings are on the record, for prosecutors or others to act on if they wish.

Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said that only one of the critical rulings had been reported to the police, by a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn who said he had no doubts about the officer’s truthfulness. The police took no action.

More broadly, Mr. Browne said an officer’s failure to convince a judge that his suspicions were justified “doesn’t necessarily mean the officer did something wrong.”

“In each case,” he added, “the suspect in fact had a gun.”

Federal prosecutors would not comment on individual cases. But Michael J. Garcia, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said his office reviews any negative rulings about an officer’s credibility to decide whether any action is necessary.

“Any time evidence gets suppressed is a serious thing,” he said.

In court, prosecutors have vigorously defended the officers’ conduct and testimony. In one brief, a prosecutor argued that a police lieutenant had no reason to lie, because that could “jeopardize a fast-moving N.Y.P.D. career.” But writing in response, a federal defender, Deirdre von Dornum, cited cases in which officers faced no repercussions — “not the loss of their jobs, not disciplinary action.”

Still, one judge was so struck by what he said were an officer’s lies that he tried to do something about it.

Two officers had arrested a man and confiscated a gun in a Bronx apartment in 2002. But Judge Martin, then on the Manhattan federal court, was troubled that one officer had given the district attorney’s office an account of how she gained entry to the apartment, then largely contradicted it on the stand.

“This has to be one of the most blatant cases of perjury I’ve seen,” Judge Martin, a former United States attorney, said in his courtroom in September 2003. He said he doubted the officer, Kim Carillo, had “any use for the truth.”

“She will tell it, I think, whatever way it suits her to tell it,” he added.

The judge told the prosecutor to ask his superiors to review Officer Carillo’s testimony. They later replied that they had found no perjury, he said, and that the officer was not at fault.

Side Effects

If the fallout for police officers has been slight, the judges’ rulings have exacted other costs.

For one thing, they may free a weapons offender, and scuttle the chance to win his cooperation in more significant prosecutions, like investigations into violent gangs or gun trafficking. “The lost value of those bigger cases is really incalculable,” said Alan Vinegrad, a former United States attorney in Brooklyn.

Questions about police credibility can also hamper other cases. When a judge finds, for example, that an officer has lied, prosecutors must alert defense lawyers in other cases involving that officer.

Judge David G. Trager of Brooklyn federal court was so indignant over what he called an officer’s “blatantly false” testimony in an October 2005 suppression hearing that he told prosecutors, “I hope you won’t darken my courtroom with this police officer’s testimony again.”

Judge Trager did not suppress the gun, concluding that some of the officer’s testimony had been credible. But the officer, Herbert Martin, was about to testify in a federal trial stemming from another gun arrest.

The defense lawyer in that case, Howard Greenberg, said that learning of Judge Trager’s findings “was like manna from heaven.”

When Officer Martin took the stand in that trial, Mr. Greenberg confronted him, asking, “Didn’t you commit perjury a week ago when you said in this very building, in an altogether different case, that someone had a gun in his waist?”

The officer denied that he had lied. But Mr. Greenberg said he believed that his question made an impression on the jury. His client was acquitted.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/12/nyregion/12guns.html
Title: NY Times: Police Impersonator
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 01, 2008, 11:52:00 AM


GERALD, Mo. — Like so many rural communities in the country’s middle, this small town had wrestled for years with the woes of methamphetamine. Then, several months ago, a federal agent showed up.


Mayor Otis Schulte of Gerald said Bill A. Jakob went to great lengths to make police officers think he was a federal agent.
Arrests began. Houses were ransacked. People, in handcuffs on their front lawns, named names. To some, like Mayor Otis Schulte, who considers the county around Gerald, population 1,171, “a meth capital of the United States,” the drug scourge seemed to be fading at last.

Those whose homes were searched, though, grumbled about a peculiar change in what they understood — mainly from television — to be the law.

They said the agent, a man some had come to know as “Sergeant Bill,” boasted that he did not need search warrants to enter their homes because he worked for the federal government.

But after a reporter for the local weekly newspaper made a few calls about that claim, Gerald’s antidrug campaign abruptly fell apart after less than five months. Sergeant Bill, it turned out, was no federal agent, but Bill A. Jakob, an unemployed former trucking company owner, a former security guard, a former wedding minister and a former small-town cop from 23 miles down the road.

Mr. Jakob, 36, is now the subject of a criminal investigation by federal authorities, and he is likely to face charges related to impersonating a law enforcement officer, his lawyer said.

The strange adventures of Sergeant Bill have led to the firing of three of the town’s five police officers, left the outcome of a string of drug arrests in doubt, prompted multimillion-dollar federal civil rights lawsuits by at least 17 plaintiffs and stirred up a political battle, including a petition seeking the impeachment of Mr. Schulte, over who is to blame for the mess.

And the questions keep coming. How did Mr. Jakob wander into town and apparently leave the mayor, the aldermen and pretty much everyone else he met thinking that he was a federal agent delivered from Washington to help barrel into peoples’ homes and clean up Gerald’s drug problem? And why would anyone — receiving no pay and with no known connection to little Gerald, 70 miles from St. Louis and not even a county seat — want to carry off such a time-consuming ruse in the first place?

Mr. Jakob’s lawyer, Joel Schwartz, said that what happened in Gerald was never a sinister plot, but a chain of events rooted in “errors in judgment.” Mr. Schwartz said he believed that at least three Gerald police officers, including the chief, knew that Mr. Jakob was not a federal drug agent or even a certified police officer.

“It was an innocent evolution, where he helped with one minor thing, then one more on top of that, and all of the sudden, everyone thought he was a federal agent,” Mr. Schwartz said. “I’m not saying this was legal or lawful. But look, they were very, very effective while he was present. I don’t think Gerald is having the drug problem they were having. I’ve heard from some residents who were thrilled that he was there.”

There were numerous arrests during Mr. Jakob’s time in Gerald (the exact number is uncertain, local law enforcement officials said, as legal action surrounding the case proceeds), but Mayor Schulte said that Mr. Jakob had, in fact, gone to elaborate lengths to deceive local authorities, including Ryan McCrary, then the police chief, into believing that he was a federal agent — with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Marshals Service or some other agency.

In addition to having a badge and a car that seemed to scream law enforcement, Mr. Jakob offered federal drug enforcement help, Mr. Schulte said. (Local officials thought the offer must have somehow grown out of their recent application for a federal grant for radio equipment.) Mr. Jakob even asked Chief McCrary to call what he said was his supervisor’s telephone number to confirm Gerald’s need for his help, the mayor said.

When the call was placed, a woman — whose identity is unknown — answered with the words “multijurisdictional task force,” and said that the city’s request for federal services was under review, the mayor said. Mr. Schulte said he now suspects that Mr. Jakob adapted the nonexistent task force name from the “Beverly Hills Cop” movies starring Eddie Murphy.

“Not only were these officers taken in, but so was everybody else,” said Chet Pleban, a lawyer for Mr. McCrary and the other two members of the police force who lost their jobs after Mr. Jakob’s real identity came to light.

Of the firings, Mayor Schulte said, “Nobody wanted to, but the city’s lawyer recommended it.”

When residents first began noticing Mr. Jakob, he certainly looked the part. His hair was chopped short, residents recalled, and his stocky chest filled a black T-shirt he sometimes wore that read “Police.” They said he wore military-style boots, pants with pockets running down the legs and carried a badge (his lawyer said it was from a former job as a security guard in St. Louis). And his off-white Ford Crown Victoria was decked out with police radios and internal flashing lights, residents said.
===========

Page 2 of 2)

He first came to town in January, his lawyer said, to meet Chief McCrary, whose experiences serving in Afghanistan Mr. Jakob had read about in a local newspaper. Mr. Jakob was considering contract work overseas, Mr. Schwartz said, and the pair hit it off.
Soon, the arrests began. Some of those whose homes were searched said they had been kicked in the head and had had shotguns held against them. Mr. Jakob, many said, seemed to be leading the crew of Gerald police officers.

“He was definitely in charge — it was all him,” said Mike Withington, 49, a concrete finisher, who said Mr. Jakob pounded on his door in May, waking him up and yanking him, in handcuffs, out onto his front yard.

Mr. Withington said he had not yet been charged with a crime; Gary Toelke, the Franklin County sheriff, confirmed that no local charges had been issued against him. But the mortification of that day, Mr. Withington said, has kept him largely indoors and led him to consider moving. Since the search, residents have tossed garbage and crumpled boxes of Sudafed (which has an ingredient that can be used to make methamphetamine) on his lawn, he said, and he no longer shops in town, instead driving miles to neighboring towns.

“Everybody is staring at me,” he said. “People assume you’re guilty when things like this happen.”

When Linda Trest, 51, a reporter at The Gasconade County Republican, started hearing complaints from people whose homes had been searched, she began making inquiries about Mr. Jakob.

“Once I got his name, I hit the computer and within an hour I had all the dirt on this guy,” Ms. Trest said.

As it turned out, Mr. Jakob, who is married and lives near Washington, a small town not far from Gerald, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2003 when he owned a trucking company, and had, at 22, pleaded guilty in Illinois to a misdemeanor charge of criminal sex abuse of someone in their teens. Since the 1990s, he had worked, at times, as a police officer in tiny departments in towns like Kinloch, Mo., and Brooklyn, Ill., though he never seemed to stay anywhere long and was never certified as a police officer in either Missouri or Illinois, his lawyer said. (Under some conditions, short-term employees with some departments are not immediately required to have state certification.)

As in Gerald, he impressed some, if only at first. “He seemed to have experience on the street,” said J. D. Roth, the police chief in Caseyville, Ill., where Mr. Jakob was a temporary part-time officer for almost two months in 2000. “He walked the walk and talked the talk.”

In Gerald, just a day before it was revealed that he was not a federal agent, the city aldermen voted to make Mr. Jakob a reserve officer; he wanted the designation, Mr. Schulte said, so he could enforce local ordinances, and he stood before the aldermen, hands behind his back, seeking the title.  Mr. Jakob offered city officials three contact numbers — his personal cellphone, a cellphone he said he used for drug informants and his “multijurisdictional task force” cellphone, Mr. Schulte said.

“It was the movie, ‘Catch Me if You Can’ all over again,” said Mr. Schulte, referring to the 2002 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a master of deception. “I’m telling you, with this guy, everything was right.”
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 02, 2008, 03:59:34 PM
Mexican Cartels and the Fallout From Phoenix
July 2, 2008




By Fred Burton and Scott Stewart

Late on the night of June 22, a residence in Phoenix was approached by a heavily armed tactical team preparing to serve a warrant. The members of the team were wearing the typical gear for members of their profession: black boots, black BDU pants, Kevlar helmets and Phoenix Police Department (PPD) raid shirts pulled over their body armor. The team members carried AR-15 rifles equipped with Aimpoint sights to help them during the low-light operation and, like most cops on a tactical team, in addition to their long guns, the members of this team carried secondary weapons — pistols strapped to their thighs.

But the raid took a strange turn when one element of the team began directing suppressive fire on the residence windows while the second element entered — a tactic not normally employed by the PPD. This breach of departmental protocol did not stem from a mistake on the part of the team’s commander. It occurred because the eight men on the assault team were not from the PPD at all. These men were not cops serving a legal search or arrest warrant signed by a judge; they were cartel hit men serving a death warrant signed by a Mexican drug lord.

The tactical team struck hard and fast. They quickly killed a man in the house and then fled the scene in two vehicles, a red Chevy Tahoe and a gray Honda sedan. Their aggressive tactics did have consequences, however. The fury the attackers unleashed on the home — firing over 100 rounds during the operation — drew the attention of a nearby Special Assignments Unit (SAU) team, the PPD’s real tactical team, which responded to the scene with other officers. An SAU officer noticed the Tahoe fleeing the scene and followed it until it entered an alley. Sensing a potential ambush, the SAU officer chose to establish a perimeter and wait for reinforcements rather than charge down the alley after the suspects. This was fortunate, because after three of the suspects from the Tahoe were arrested, they confessed that they had indeed planned to ambush the police officers chasing them.

The assailants who fled in the Honda have not yet been found, but police did recover the vehicle in a church parking lot. They reportedly found four sets of body armor in the vehicle and also recovered an assault rifle abandoned in a field adjacent to the church.

This Phoenix home invasion and murder is a vivid reminder of the threat to U.S. law enforcement officers that stems from the cartel wars in Mexico.

Violence Crosses the Border
The fact that the Mexican men involved in the Phoenix case were heavily armed and dressed as police comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed security events in Mexico. Teams of cartel enforcers frequently impersonate police or military personnel, often wearing matching tactical gear and carrying standardized weapons. In fact, it is rare to see a shootout or cartel-related arms seizure in Mexico where tactical gear and clothing bearing police or military insignia is not found.

One reason for the prevalent use of this type of equipment is that many cartel enforcers come from military or police backgrounds. By training and habit, they prefer to operate as a team composed of members equipped with standardized gear so that items such as ammunition and magazines can be interchanged during a firefight. This also gives a team member the ability to pick up the familiar weapon of a fallen comrade and immediately bring it into action. This is of course the same reason military units and police forces use standardized equipment in most places.

Police clothing, such as hats, patches and raid jackets, is surprisingly easy to come by. Authentic articles can be stolen or purchased through uniform vendors or cop shops. Knockoff uniform items can easily be manufactured in silk screen or embroidery shops by duplicating authentic designs. Even badges are easy to obtain if one knows where to look.

While it now appears that the three men arrested in Phoenix were not former or active members of the Mexican military or police, it is not surprising that they employed military- and police-style tactics. Enforcers of various cartel groups such as Los Zetas, La Gente Nueva or the Kaibiles who have received advanced tactical training often pass on that training to younger enforcers (many of whom are former street thugs) at makeshift training camps located on ranches in northern Mexico. There are also reports of Israeli mercenaries visiting these camps to provide tactical training. In this way, the cartel enforcers are transforming ordinary street thugs into highly-trained cartel tactical teams.

Though cartel enforcers have almost always had ready access to guns, including military weapons such as assault rifles and grenade launchers, groups such as Los Zetas, the Kaibiles and their young disciples bring an added level of threat to the equation. They are highly trained men with soldiers’ mindsets who operate as a unit capable of using their weapons with deadly effectiveness. Assault rifles in the hands of untrained thugs are dangerous, but when those same weapons are placed in the hands of men who can shoot accurately and operate tactically as a fire team, they can be overwhelmingly powerful — not only when used against enemies and other intended targets, but also when used against law enforcement officers who attempt to interfere with the team’s operations.

Targets
Although the victim in the Phoenix killing, Andrew Williams, was reportedly a Jamaican drug dealer who crossed a Mexican cartel, there are many other targets in the United States that the cartels would like to eliminate. These targets include Mexican cartel members who have fled to the United States due to several different factors. The first factor is the violent cartel war that has raged in Mexico for the past few years over control of important smuggling routes and strategic locations along those routes. The second factor is the Calderon administration’s crackdown, first on the Gulf cartel and now on the Sinaloa cartel. Pressure from rival cartels and the government has forced many cartel leaders into hiding, and some of them have left Mexico for Central America or the United States.

Traditionally, when violence has spiked in Mexico, cartel figures have used U.S. cities such as Laredo, El Paso and San Diego as rest and recreation spots, reasoning that the general umbrella of safety provided by U.S. law enforcement to those residing in the United States would protect them from assassination by their enemies. As bolder Mexican cartel hit men have begun to carry out assassinations on the U.S. side of the border in places such as Laredo, Rio Bravo, and even Dallas, the cartel figures have begun to seek sanctuary deeper in the United States, thereby bringing the threat with them.

While many cartel leaders are wanted in the United States, many have family members not being sought by U.S. law enforcement. (Many of them even have relatives who are U.S. citizens.) Some family members have also settled comfortably inside the United States, using the country as a haven from violence in Mexico. These families might become targets, however, as the cartels look for creative ways to hurt their rivals.

Other cartel targets in the United States include Drug Enforcement Administration and other law enforcement officers responsible for operations against the cartels, and informants who have cooperated with U.S. or Mexican authorities and been relocated stateside for safety. There are also many police officers who have quit their jobs in Mexico and fled to the United States to escape threats from the cartels, as well as Mexican businessmen who are targeted by cartels and have moved to the United States for safety.

To date, the cartels for the most part have refrained from targeting innocent civilians. In the type of environment they operate under inside Mexico, cartels cannot afford to have the local population, a group they use as camouflage, turn against them. It is not uncommon for cartel leaders to undertake public relations events (they have even held carnivals for children) in order to build goodwill with the general population. As seen with al Qaeda in Iraq, losing the support of the local population is deadly for a militant group attempting to hide within that population.

Cartels have also attempted to minimize civilian casualties in their operations inside the United States, though for a different operational consideration. The cartels believe that if a U.S. drug dealer or a member of a rival Mexican cartel is killed in a place like Dallas or Phoenix, nobody really cares. Many people see such a killing as a public service, and there will not be much public outcry about it, nor much real effort on the part of law enforcement agencies to identify and catch the killers. The death of a civilian, on the other hand, brings far more public condemnation and law enforcement attention.

However, the aggressiveness of cartel enforcers and their brutal lack of regard for human life means that while they do not intentionally target civilians, they are bound to create collateral casualties along the way. This is especially true as they continue to conduct operations like the Phoenix killing, where they fired over 100 rounds of 5.56 mm ball ammunition at a home in a residential neighborhood.

Tactical Implications
Judging from the operations of the cartel enforcers in Mexico, they have absolutely no hesitation about firing at police officers who interfere with their operations or who dare to chase them. Indeed, the Phoenix case nearly ended in an ambush of the police. It must be noted, however, that this ambush was not really intentional, but rather the natural reaction of these Mexican cartel enforcers to police pursuit. They were accustomed to shooting at police and military south of the border and have very little regard for them. In many instances, this aggression convinces the poorly armed and trained police to leave the cartel gunmen alone.

The problem such teams pose for the average U.S. cop on patrol is that the average cop is neither trained nor armed to confront a heavily armed fire team. In fact, a PPD source advised Stratfor that, had the SAU officer not been the first to arrive on the scene, it could have been a disaster for the department. This is not a criticism of the Phoenix cops. The vast majority of police officers and federal agents in the United States simply are not prepared or equipped to deal with a highly trained fire team using insurgent tactics. That is a task suited more for the U.S. military forces currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

These cartel gunmen also have the advantage of being camouflaged as cops. This might not only cause considerable confusion during a firefight (who do backup officers shoot at if both parties in the fight are dressed like cops?) but also means that responding officers might hesitate to fire on the criminals dressed as cops. Such hesitation could provide the criminals with an important tactical advantage — an advantage that could prove fatal for the officers.

Mexican cartel enforcers have also demonstrated a history of using sophisticated scanners to listen to police radio traffic, and in some cases they have even employed police radios to confuse and misdirect the police responding to an armed confrontation with cartel enforcers.

We anticipate that as the Mexican cartels begin to go after more targets inside the United States, the spread of cartel violence and these dangerous tactics beyond the border region will catch some law enforcement officers by surprise. A patrol officer conducting a traffic stop on a group of cartel members who are preparing to conduct an assassination in, say, Los Angeles, Chicago or northern Virginia could quickly find himself heavily outgunned and under fire. With that said, cops in the United States are far more capable than their Mexican counterparts of dealing with this threat.

In addition to being far better trained, U.S. law enforcement officers also have access to far better command, control and communication networks than their Mexican counterparts. Like we saw in the Phoenix example, this communication network provides cops with the ability to quickly summon reinforcements, air support and tactical teams to deal with heavily armed criminals — but this communication system only helps if it can be used. That means cops need to recognize the danger before they are attacked and prevented from calling for help. As with many other threats, the key to protecting oneself against this threat is situational awareness, and cops far from the border need to become aware of this trend.

Tell Stratfor What You Think

This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to www.stratfor.com
Title: AELE
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 20, 2008, 07:02:02 PM


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1. The August 2008 issue of the AELE Monthly Law Journal is online, with three new
articles:

* Police Civil Liability
Police Interaction with Homeless Persons 
Part One – Sleeping and Possessions

* Discipline and Employment Law
Administrative Investigations of Police Shootings and Other Critical Incidents:
Officer Statements and Use of Force Reports
Part Two: The Basics

* Corrections Law
Prisoner Work Programs

Access the Law Journal's menu page at http://www.aele.org/law/MLJ2008AUG.html

Note: The article on "Administrative Investigations of Police Shootings" focuses on
seven important questions:

** What information needs to be obtained from an officer who has killed or wounded a
suspect, before the officer is placed on paid, administrative leave?
** How long should investigators wait, before formally interviewing an officer who
has used deadly force?
** Should officers be interviewed together or separately?
** Should officers be allowed to be accompanied, at the interview, by an association
representative or attorney?
** Who should complete the Use of Force Report: The involved officers, the field
supervisor, or a member of the incident investigation team?
** Should the involved officer(s) be allowed a walk-through before giving an
interview to investigators?
** If there are videotapes, should the officer(s) review them before or after the
formal interview?

At the end of the article there are 87 references to articles, books, judicial
decisions, model policies, guidelines, reports and studies. Many can be viewed by
hyperlinks.

The article can be directly accessed at http://www.aele.org/law/2008-8MLJ201.html
 
2. The August 2008 issues of AELE's three periodicals have been uploaded. The
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without charge. The main menu is at: http://www.aele.org/law
 
Among 100+ different cases noted, there are several that warrant mention here:
 
*** Law Enforcement Liability Reporter ***

* Excessive Force - Pepper Spray
Officers did not use excessive force in response to a belligerent motorist who
shouted and refused to comply with their directions to step to the curb, lower his
voice, and calm down. When he resisted their attempts to place handcuffs on him,
they tackled him to the ground and applied arm locks for purposes of restraint.
After that too proved unsuccessful, they then used pepper spray. The court ruled
that no reasonable officer would have throught that the defendant officers applied
excessive force under the circumstances, and that the officers were entitled to
qualified immunity. Mierzwa v. U.S., #07-3362, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 13523 (Unpub.
3rd Cir.).
http://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/073362np.pdf

* Excessive Force - Taser
Officers were not entitled to qualified immunity on claims that they used excessive
force in deploying a Taser on a 6-year-old, 53-pound minor, allegedly causing
permanent and severe injuries. The child was placed in a school principal's office
after being disruptive in a class. He broke a picture frame in the office, and
police officers allegedly found him standing with a piece of glass in his hand. One
officer kneeled in front of the child while the other sat in front of him, and then
moved within one foot of him just before using the Taser. At the time of the
incident, which was 2003, it was "obvious" that the Fourth Amendment prohibited the
use of the Taser under these circumstances, according to the appeals court. Moretta
v. Abbott, #07-10795, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 11749 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/unpub/ops/200710795.pdf

* Excessive Force - Firearms
Based on disputes about the facts of the incident in which officers shot and killed
a man as he tried to flee a traffic stop, the officers were properly denied
qualified immunity. While the officers claimed that they feared for their safety
even under the facts alleged by the plaintiffs, those allegations were that the
motorist's truck was moving non-aggressively and slowly, and could not have hit the
officers, and also that it was stationary at the time of the shooting. Under those
circumstances, if true, no reasonable officer could have believed that the motorist
posed a threat to them. Further, under these circumstances, the officers would have
had time to assess the situation before firing several times at the motorist.
Officers may not, the court noted, fire at a fleeing felon who is not posing a
threat to anyone. Estate of Kirby v. Duva, #06-1976, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 13573 (6th
Cir.).
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/6th/061976p.pdf


*** Fire and Police Personnel Reporter ***

* Disciplinary Punishment - Sexual Misconduct
Tenth Circuit upholds a private oral reprimand for a police officer, who, while
off-duty, had sex with another officer, while attending a training session out of
town. "We think it reasonable for the police department to privately admonish
[appellant's] personal conduct consistent with its code of conduct when the
department believes it will further internal discipline or the public's respect for
its police officers and the department they represent." Seegmiller v. Laverkin City,
#07-4096 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 12417 (10th Cir.).
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/10th/074096p.pdf

* Disciplinary Punishment - Civility
Swearing at another officer does not merit termination. (Other issues also were
discussed in the case). Harder v. Vil. of Forest Park, #05-C-5800, 2008 U.S. Dist.
Lexis 36892 (N.D.Ill.).
http://www.aele.org/law/2008FPAUG/harder-fppd.html

*** Jail and Prisoner Law Bulletin ***

* Positional, Restraint, and Compressional Asphyxia
Although a man suffering from delusions attacked a psychiatric hospital staff
member, the defendants knew that restraining him face-down on the floor and putting
pressure on a his back posed a substantial risk of asphyxiation. "Despite knowledge
of this risk, defendants chose to restrain [the deceased] using these dangerous
restraint techniques. Their actions were objectively unreasonable given the fact
that [an] eyewitness testified that [the] defendants continued to restrain [him] in
this dangerous position ..." During the attempt to restrain him, he stopped
breathing, never regained consciousness, and died. The appeals court rejected claims
by certain defendants for qualified immunity in a federal civil rights lawsuit
brought by the decedent's estate. Lanman v. Hinson, #06-2263, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis
12682, 2008 Fed App. 0212P (6th Cir.).
http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/08a0212p-06.pdf
 
* Prisoner Restraint

Placing a prisoner in a four-point restraint and keeping him shackled to his bed in
this manner for four hours did not violate his substantive due process rights. The
inmate was accused of biting the prison guard at the time the restraints were
applied. Grinter v. Knight, #05-6755, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 12919 (6th Cir.).
http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/08a0213p-06.pdf

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Title: Force Science News
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 20, 2008, 07:06:49 PM
Second post of the day:



YIN / yang

--- On Sat, 7/19/08, Force Science Research Center <Info@forcesciencenews.com> wrote:

From: Force Science Research Center <Info@forcesciencenews.com>
Subject: FORCE SCIENCE NEWS: Transmission #102
To: stickwacker1@yahoo.com
Date: Saturday, July 19, 2008, 12:07 PM
July 18, 2008
www.ForceScienceNews.com
Force Science News #102


In this issue:
New study ranks risks of injury from 5 major force options

How would you rank the relative risk for officers and suspects suffering injury from
these 5 force options:

• Empty-hand control techniques
• Baton
• OC spray
• Conducted energy weapons (Tasers)
• Lateral vascular neck restraint.

If you judged OC to be the ³safest² and baton to be ³most injurious² to both
officers and offenders, you¹re in agreement with the findings of a new study of
force encounters involving officers on a major municipal department.
The study, the first of its kind in Canada, was conducted by S/Sgt. Chris Butler of
the Calgary (Alberta) Police Service and Dr. Christine Hall of the Canadian Police
Research Center.
They analyzed 562 use-of-force events that occurred across a recent 2-year period as
officers effected the arrests of resistant subjects in Calgary, a city of more than
1 million population. The threatened or actual use of firearms were omitted from the
review, as were handcuffing, low-level pain compliance techniques like joint locks
and pressure points, K-9s, and tactical responses such as chemical agents,
flashbangs and less-lethal projectiles.
Here¹s what they discovered:
• OC, used in roughly 5% of force-involved arrests, produced the lowest rate of
injury. More than 80% of sprayed subjects sustained no injury whatever. About 15%
had only minor injuries (³visible injuries of a trifling nature which did not
require medical treatment²) and some 4% had what the researchers termed ³minor
outpatient² injuries (some medical treatment required but not hospitalization). No
cases resulted in hospitalization or were fatal.
Officers involved in OC use fared even better. They suffered no injury in nearly 89%
of cases and only minor damage the rest of the time.
The pepper spray involved was Sabre Red, with 10% oleoresin capsicum.
• Batons, deployed in 5.5% of force-involved arrests, caused the greatest rate of
higher-level injury. Fewer than 39% of subjects receiving baton contact remained
uninjured. More than 3% were hospitalized and nearly 26% required outpatient
treatment, combining to be ³most injurious,² according to the researchers. About 32%
of batoned subjects sustained minor injuries requiring no treatment.
Of officers involved in baton incidents, nearly 13% required outpatient treatment.
Some 16% sustained minor injury and the rest were uninjured.
In Calgary, the baton used is the Monadnock Autolock expandable with power safety tip.
• Empty-hand controls, applied in 38.5% of the force events, also ranked high for
more serious injuries. For purposes of the study, physical controls included ³nerve
motor point striking and stunning techniques, grounding techniques such as arm-bar
takedowns, and other balance displacement methods.²
Nearly 14% of these subjects required outpatient medical care and about 4% had to be
hospitalized. Almost 50% had minor injuries and about 33% remained uninjured.
Among officers, 1% required hospitalization and 4.5% needed outpatient aid. The vast
majority (77.8%) were uninjured and nearly 17% had minor injuries.
Judging from these findings, the researchers conclude, agencies need ³to seek out
alternatives to hands-on physical control tactics and the baton if they wish to
reduce the frequency and seriousness of citizen and police officer injuries.²
• The second safest force mode for suspects proved to be the lateral vascular neck
restraint. Used in 3% of force-related arrests, the LVNR left more than half (52.9%)
of offenders uninjured. About 41% sustained minor injuries and less than 6% required
minor outpatient treatment. There were no hospitalizations and no fatalities.
Officers applying a LVNR remained uninjured more than 76% of the time and those who
were hurt suffered only minor injuries.
• Conducted energy weapons also scored high in safety for both suspects and
officers. The Taser X26, the CEW issued to Calgary officers, was the most frequently
deployed of the 5 force options studied, being used against nearly half (48.2%) of
resistant arrestees. About 1% ended up hospitalized, about 12% needed minor
outpatient treatment and more than 42% had only minor injuries. Nearly 45% sustained
no injuries and there were 0 fatalities.
Of officers using Tasers, about 83% were uninjured and about 13% sustained minor
injuries. Only about 2% and 1% required outpatient medical attention or
hospitalization respectively.
³The commonly held belief² that CEWs carry ³a significant risk of injury or deathŠis
not supported by the data.² Indeed, they are ³less injurious than either the baton
or empty-hand physical control,² which often would be alternative options where
electronic weapons were not available.
In a 14-page report of their study, Butler and Hall point out that ³[N]o use of
force technique available to police officers can be considered Œsafe¹ ² in the
dictionary sense that it is free from harm or secure from threat of danger. ³[E]very
use of force encounter between the police and a citizen carries with it the
possibility for injury for one or all of the participants, however unexpected that
injury might be.²
The best that can be hoped for is an appropriate, proportional balance between ³the
degree of risk of harm² and the ³resistance faced by police² that requires the use
of force.
The public has been fed ³a large amount ofŠincomplete or incorrect information and
even intentional artifice² about some force options, the researchers charge. Their
study, they say, may help eliminate the resulting confusion. Plus, knowing the level
of injury likely to result from a given force method can aid trainers and
administrators in developing ³sound policies and practices.²
³This study is a great snapshot about force and its associated injuries and is a
valuable addition to the discussion of force issues in Canada and elsewhere,² says
Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at
Minnesota State University-Mankato.
³Hopefully, the researchers will now be encouraged to probe further into some of the
issues they touched on, exploring in greater depth the decision-making that led
officers to apply various types of force, the level of emotional and physical
intensity generated by subjects receiving the force, the causes of injuries to both
officers and subjects, and so on. There is still much to be learned in these areas.²

As part of their study, Hall and Butler compiled statistics on the broad overview of
force encounters among Calgary officers, which closely mirror findings regarding
U.S. law enforcement.
For instance:
• Out of more than 827,000 police-public interactions, the 562 instances which ended
up involving use of force represented less than 1% (.07%) of the total. (Other
studies have pegged that figure in the U.S. at 1.5%.)
• Arrests occurred in only 4.6% of police-public interactions, and 98.5% of the time
the arrests were finessed without force.
• Roughly 88% of all subjects requiring force were under the influence of drugs
and/or alcohol or ³some degree of emotional illness.² Almost 94% of resistant
offenders requiring force were male.
• The researchers found ³a notable pattern of relationshipŠbetween the number of
officers present and the frequency and nature of injuries sustained by both citizens
and officers.² Namely: ³[M]ore injuries occurred in circumstances where only one
officer was present.²
The researchers state bluntly that ³biased reporting of events has led the
lay-public to have the impression that the police use of force is frequent when
compared to the overall number of police and public interactions.²
They mentioned also a bias that results in ³extensive media coverage of events where
subjects have died² after use of a CEW and a ³lack of publication of CEW uses
without an adverse outcome.²
Such skewed reporting ³prevents the publicŠfrom forming an informed opinion about
the actual risk presented² by various force modalities, they stated.
The study¹s official jaw-breaking title is: ³Public-Police Interaction and Its
Relation to Arrest and Use of Force by Police and Resulting Injuries to Subjects and
Officers; a Description of Risk in One Major Canadian Urban City.² It is expected to
be posted online in mid- to late-August by the Canadian Police Research Center at
www.cprc.org
S/Sgt. Butler can be reached at chris.butler@calgarypolice.ca.
 







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Title: Emergency Rooms
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 26, 2008, 07:13:04 AM
You may think of a hospital as a place of refuge and healing, but so do wounded gang members. And wounded predators can be dangerous.
July 23, 2008  http://www.policemag.com/Channels/Gangs/2008/07/23/Gang-Members-in-the-Emergency-Room.aspx

Have you ever thought about this one?


One night you are one of the police units in your city responding to a gang fight call. The first units arriving broadcast that a gang shooting has just occurred with several wounded gunshot victims. But you are diverted to respond to the local hospital because an anonymous source called claiming that gang members are rushing their critically wounded to the emergency room.


On your way to the hospital, you see several vehicles ahead of you speeding through the streets, running stop signs, and finally pulling into the hospital emergency room parking lot. Your one-man-unit approaches the vehicle closest to the emergency room doors as several very emotional gang members are dragging an obviously dead homeboy out of the car.


Suddenly you hear shouting from another car behind you. These gangsters are also getting out of their cars, and they also have a wounded homeboy. The air is charged with tension and taunts, threats, and challenges are exchanged.


You are now in the middle of a kill zone between two rival and highly agitated gangs. You watch in slow motion as they drop their wounded and draw their guns. It is as though they cannot even see you or recognize your uniform or police vehicle. You are not the intended target, but you could easily be collateral damage.


This scenario is taken from an incident that actually occurred at the Los Angeles County General Hospital and resulted in an officer-involved shooting in the emergency parking lot. The officer was a member of the Los Angeles County Police Department, the agency that works the county hospitals.


As a gang detective, I once responded to another local hospital trauma center to get a statement from a gunshot victim. He had just barely survived a gunshot wound and an emergency room procedure and was in the Intensive Care Unit.


The hospital security guard led me to ICU, and we both were startled to see my “victim” rolling around on his hospital bed dragging his I.V. bottle and electronic monitoring wires, jousting with another patient in a similar bed with similar lines trying to pull the tubes and wires from each other.


When we separated them, we learned that they were suspect/victim and members of rival gangs. This problem continued to grow for the hospital over the next few days because both patients’ homeboys and homegirls began coming to the hospital to visit their own wounded, and would run into members of the other gang. Eventually hospital security had to be assigned and stationed in front of each of their rooms.


On another occasion, a gang member was brought to the Martin Luther King emergency room under the influence of phencyclidine (PCP) by his homeboys. Officers of the Los Angeles County Police searched the gang member and then strapped him to a gurney in the very busy emergency room. There were, in fact, several PCP overdoses and wounded gang members in the emergency room and hall ways on this night.


This particular gang member was not my charge; I was there with a different gang member who was being cleared for booking by hospital staff. Another Deputy from the Special Enforcement Unit, Steve Nelson, was having another arrested gang member checked out when we both heard screams coming from the emergency room.


The gang member who was under the influence of PCP and strapped to the gurney by the County Police had a pocket knife and had somehow cut himself free from his leather restraints. He had already stabbed the attending emergency room physician and jumped off the gurney to slash a second staff member.


Dep. Nelson and I gave chase in the crowded emergency room. The suspect swung the knife at anyone he passed near enough to reach. We drew our pistols but had no chance of a clear shot in the emergency room and hallway. We ran through the corridors and hallways out to the very crowded lobby.


As the suspect ran outside to the parking lot, we split up, chasing him around several large metal CONEX-style boxes. The suspect charged Nelson with the knife, and Nelson put a very quick but controlled three rounds into his center mass just below the ribs and right of center line.


To Nelson’s and my amazement, the very same emergency room staff that this violent gang member had attacked came out to the parking lot to his life.


Despite the friendly staff with good attitudes, hospitals are not usually happy places. Domestic violence, child abuse, rape, attempted suicides, gang assaults, and drug overdoses are just a few of the problems encountered in the average day in a busy hospital. If you expect to frequent such a place, do not let your guard down.


Find out if the hospital has a police force or private security officers. Introduce yourself to them and learn their hospital procedures before an emergency occurs. Don’t disrespect them, even if you think that they are only private security guards. Remember you are in their house. If you get into trouble, it will most likely be them coming to your aid as first responders.


Many modern hospitals are equipped with metal detectors and X-ray systems to scan bags and purses. In addition some hospitals require everyone to be stopped, searched, and wanded with a handheld metal detector before entering the building. This is accomplished under implied consent laws and hospital regulations.


However, some hospitals exclude doctors and staff from this requirement. Make yourself aware of the procedures at this checkpoint because it will be one of the possible points where trouble will occur.


When you get to the emergency room, study how it is laid out. Where is the trouble likely to come from? Where are the phones? What code system is the staff using? For example, Code Blue = cardiac arrest.


Talk to the regular emergency room staff on all shifts, especially the Doctors and the floor nurse. Ask them to clue you in when they sense possible trouble. Offer to let them ride along with you one day if they will run you through their emergency room procedures.


Talk to the hospital security personnel about the local gangs. If you have any in your town, I will bet you can find gang graffiti on the hospital grounds. Photograph and identify the gang graffiti for the security people. Point out gang tattoos. Make it a kind of game with the security staff to identify possible gang affiliations and separate them on intake.


Suggest they establish an isolation room for possible problem patients. Talk to them about the use of handcuffs and restraints. Note: some inexperienced doctors and staff members will object to any use of restraints on a person being examined and treated in the emergency room, even a potentially dangerous gang member. Try to convince them that such a precaution is best for everyone. 


When you are in the field and responding to a gang fight or shooting, try to roll the wounded to separate hospitals if possible. Talk to the paramedics about this because sometimes the victim’s wounds will determine the trauma center he should be sent to.


Have the desk notify the hospital security that victims associated with this gang are on their way or roll the assisting unit with the victims to prevent clashes with the rival victims or suspects. Have the assisting unit drive through the hospital parking lot looking for the rival gang members who might be spying to find out if they made a kill or just wounded the victim.


The California Penal Code covers the crime of “Resisting public peace officers or medical technicians in the discharge of their duties,” under 148 P.C. The law was designed to protect policemen and paramedics in the field, but it could be applied to emergency room situations too. Look up your state’s codes on interfering, resisting, or obstructing police and medical technicians in emergency situations and see if you can use them against gangs in the emergency room.

author: Richard Valdemar | posted @ Wednesday, July 23, 2008 8:57 AM

Title: Do you look like a cop off-duty?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 06, 2008, 10:35:44 PM
Do you look like a cop off-duty? How to tell...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have never thought I look like a cop when I am off-duty. Cop haircut? Nope. "Copstache?" Negative. Wearing clothes emblazoned with police-related labels, phrases, or insignia? Almost never. While most situations are not nearly as dramatic as the San Francisco experience, there have been many times people I very recently met will either ask me if I work in law enforcement, or tell me upon learning what I do for a living that they "just knew it." Often, they come from a police family themselves but cannot put their finger on how they "just knew it." There have also been many instances when I am out and off-duty, and on-duty officers I have never before seen or met will single me out in a crowd for a nod, or a "hey, how you doin'?" I have even gotten this, while on vacation, from other people I learn are off-duty and vacationing cops.
So what is this all about? Am I crazy or does anyone else experience this? Do we give off some police-pheromone? Is it some unconscious way we walk, talk, observe our surroundings, or otherwise behave that we carry with us away from the job? Or is it, as Althea swears, as simple as the way we stand that comes from years of wearing boots, vest, and a loaded duty belt? We are not sure ourselves but we put our heads together, as well as polled some folks who know and love cops, to come up with a simple quiz of "off-duty stereotypes." So (for a bit of light fun only) take the quiz below and give yourself a point for each statement that applies to you. To add to the fun, share your score in the comments section below (with an anonymous name of course!)

My work shoes are good all around shoes. I wear them when I am not at work. They especially go well with suits.
My other favorite pair of footwear is white athletic trainers and/or flip-flops.
I always carry a backup gun. Even off-duty. Even at the beach.
(For men only) I own one suit. I bought it sometime in the late 90s and figure I can get another ten or fifteen years out of it. Besides, it goes really well with my boots.
(For women only) I own one dress or skirt. I wore it once to a department function and no one recognized me! I only got it because it was on clearance.
I cut my hair at home with clippers I bought at a store. Stylists are for metrosexuals. (Add 1 bonus point if you use the same clippers on the dog)
Maximum hair length allowed is ¾ inch. Anything longer is for hippies and Democrats!
Looking in my closet, my clothes are polo shirts, oversize sweatshirts, jeans, t-shirts, workout clothes and nothing else. Shirts are never worn tucked in, in order to hide my gun. (Add 2 points if you own one or more Hawaiian shirts, just because it is such a cliché!)
The colors of my wardrobe are blue, grey, brown and black. Once in awhile I go big and wear red.
Facial hair is for undercover officers and people who are lazy (except for mustaches... mustaches are OK).
Sunglasses of choice? Oakley, of course.
I listen to the scanner at home.
When eating in a restaurant, I must sit where I can watch the door.
I consider beer an essential food group.
I go to Hooters for the food.
My car is All-American, such as Ford, GM, or Dodge. Even though some "American" cars are made in Mexico, and some Hondas in Ohio, it's still USA All The Way!
Gum chewing is an essential job function.
I never smile when my picture is taken, but put on my "cop face." Even at weddings.
I talk to everyone in an interview stance, because you never know who you will have to fight.
My favorite show as a rookie was Cops. My favorite show as a veteran is Reno 911. I swear they stole those characters from my department.
One of the characters was based on me!
"Hey, be safe" is how I end every encounter and conversation with other cops.
I call everyone I don't know "ma'am" or "sir" out of habit.
Whenever a police drama like Law & Order or CSI does not follow procedure, I yell at the TV. (Add 1 bonus point if you have ever gotten so upset you wrote the show's producer a scathing E-mail)
I refuse to watch a movie unless there is a car chase, someone bleeds, guns are fired, or someone is taken hostage.
I cannot understand how some people miss the obvious humor in stories involving the unique ways humans manage to meet their maker and advanced decomposition.
Scoring
0 - 7 points Congratulations! You are most likely laid back, able to leave work at the end of your shift, and able to relate to the non-cop world very well. Just be sure to not be too laid back at work.
8 - 12 points You are probably still able to relate to the non-cop world, but be careful not to slip too far into stereotypical behavior. Maybe you should go out and get a new suit. Or a Subaru.
13 - 20 points You need to work on getting back some balance. May we suggest taking the spouse out to see a (brace yourself) romantic comedy or musical. Desperate measures for desperate times, you know.
21 or more points Whoa, easy there Tackleberry! Actually, it is probably too late for you to dial it back. Just embrace your total immersion into "copness" and use it for the common good. Just always be on guard against burnout, as you may have fewer resources or outlets to combat it.
And be safe.
Title: GPS used to tail/monitor
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 13, 2008, 08:04:25 AM
Police turn to secret weapon: GPS device

Privacy advocates say electronic tracking violates Fourth Amendment rights

By Ben Hubbard

updated 11:40 p.m. ET Aug. 12, 2008

Someone was attacking women in Fairfax County and Alexandria, grabbing them from behind and sometimes punching and molesting them before running away. After logging 11 cases in six months, police finally identified a suspect.

David Lee Foltz Jr., who had served 17 years in prison for rape, lived near the crime scenes. To figure out if Foltz was the assailant, police pulled out their secret weapon: They put a Global Positioning System device on Foltz's van, which allowed them to track his movements.

Police said they soon caught Foltz dragging a woman into a wooded area in Falls Church. After his arrest on Feb. 6, the string of assaults suddenly stopped. The break in the case relied largely on a crime-fighting tool they would rather not discuss.

"We don't really want to give any info on how we use it as an investigative tool to help the bad guys," said Officer Shelley Broderick, a Fairfax police spokeswoman. "It is an investigative tool for us, and it is a very new investigative tool."

Across the country, police are using GPS devices to snare thieves, drug dealers, sexual predators and killers, often without a warrant or court order. Privacy advocates said tracking suspects electronically constitutes illegal search and seizure, violating Fourth Amendment rights of protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, and is another step toward George Orwell's Big Brother society. Law enforcement officials, when they discuss the issue at all, said GPS is essentially the same as having an officer trail someone, just cheaper and more accurate. Most of the time, as was done in the Foltz case, judges have sided with police.

With the courts' blessing, and the ever-declining cost of the technology, many analysts believe that police will increasingly rely on GPS as an effective tool in investigations and that the public will hear little about it.

Last year, FBI agents used a GPS device while investigating an embezzlement scheme to steal from District taxpayers, attaching one to a suspect's Jaguar.
"I've seen them in cases from New York City to small towns -- whoever can afford to get the equipment and plant it on a car," said John Wesley Hall, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "And of course, it's easy to do. You can sneak up on a car and plant it at any time."

Most police departments in the Washington region resist disclosing whether they use GPS to track suspects. D.C. police spokeswoman Traci Hughes said D.C. police do not use the technique. Police departments in Arlington, Fairfax and Montgomery counties and Alexandria declined to discuss the issue.

Cpl. Clinton Copeland, a Prince George's County police spokesman, said his department does use the technique. "But I don't think that's something [detectives] would be too happy to put out there like that," Copeland said. "They do have different techniques they like to use on suspects, but they don't really want people to know."

Details on how police use GPS usually become public when the use of the device is challenged in court. Such cases have revealed how police in Washington state arrested a man for killing his 9-year-old daughter: the GPS device attached to his truck led them to where he had buried her.

Cases have shown how detectives in New York caught a drug-runner after monitoring his car as he bought and sold methamphetamine. In Wisconsin, police tracked two suspected burglars by attaching a GPS device to their car and apprehending them after burglarizing a house.

The Foltz case offers a rare glimpse into how a Washington area police department uses GPS. Foltz's attorney, Chris Leibig, challenged police in court last week and tried to have the GPS evidence thrown out. He argued at a hearing at Arlington County General District Court that police needed a warrant since the device tracked Foltz's vehicle on private and public land. The judge disagreed, and the evidence will be used at Foltz's trial, which will begin Oct. 6. Foltz was charged in the Feb. 6 attack, but not in the others.

Without obtaining a warrant, Jack Kirk, a detective from the Fairfax police department's electronic-surveillance section, placed a GPS device on Foltz's van while it was parked in front of his house, Kirk testified. He said it took three seconds. Another vehicle was not targeted because it was on private property, he said.

Detectives began actively monitoring the van four days later, when it appeared to be moving slowly through neighborhoods, Kirk said. Foltz was caught the next day.

In preparing to defend Foltz, Leibig filed Freedom of Information Act requests with every police department in Virginia, asking about their use of unwarranted GPS tracking. Most departments said they had never used the device. About two dozen refused to respond, including Loudoun and Prince William counties, Alexandria and the Virginia State Police.

Arlington police said they have used GPS devices 70 times in the last three years, mostly to catch car thieves, but also in homicide, robbery and narcotics investigations.

Fairfax police used the technology as early as 2003 and have used it many times since, according to year-end reports Leibig received. Police used GPS devices 61 times in 2005, 52 times in 2006 and 46 times in 2007.
Five other Virginia departments reported using GPS once for specific investigations.

GPS advocates said police do not need a warrant to track suspects electronically on public streets because the device provides the same information as physical tracking.

"A police officer could do the same thing with his or her own eyes," said Arlington Commonwealth's Attorney Richard E. Trodden. "It helps to cut down on the number of police officers who would have to be out tracking particular cars."

Leibig said GPS should be held to a different standard because it provides greater detail. "While it may be true that police can conduct surveillance of people on a public street without violating their rights, tracking a person everywhere they go and keeping a computer record of it for days and days without that person knowing is a completely different type of intrusion," he said.

GPS devices receive signals from a network of satellites, then use the information to calculate their precise location. By taking readings at different times, they can also calculate speed and direction.

The Defense Department operates the system, which was made available for civilian use in 1996. The technology's price has dropped since then, with new dashboard models available for less than $200. Some cellphone models are equipped with GPS, and many companies and local governments rely on GPS to track vehicle fleets.

Barry Steinhardt, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's technology and liberty program, considers GPS monitoring, along with license plate readers, toll transponders and video cameras with face-recognition technology, part of the same trend toward "an always-on, surveillance society."

"Things that would have seemed fantastic 15 years ago are now routine," he said. "We have to rethink what is a reasonable expectation of privacy."
So far, the U.S. Supreme Court has not weighed in on unwarranted GPS tracking, but supporters point to a 1983 case that said police do not need a warrant to track a car on a public street with a beeper, which relays the car's location to police.

Lower courts that have addressed the issue have not all agreed. The Washington state Supreme Court has ruled that police must obtain a warrant to use the device in that manner, but courts in New York, Wisconsin and Maryland, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Chicago, have held that a warrant is not necessary.

Craig Fraser, director of management services for the Police Executive Research Forum, said tracking technology's new capabilities might eventually require legal adjustments.
"The issue is whether the more sophisticated tools are doing the same things we used to do or are creating a different set of legal circumstances," he said.

Paul Marcus, a law professor at Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, said the debate will only grow stronger as more departments substitute old-fashioned manpower for better and cheaper electronics.
"It is going to happen more and more," he said. "No question about it."
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 13, 2008, 08:10:46 AM
No. Reasonable. Expectation. of. Privacy.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: JDN on August 13, 2008, 10:26:35 AM
No. Reasonable. Expectation. of. Privacy.

And do you think that is good or bad?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 13, 2008, 01:25:32 PM
Good.

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: JDN on August 13, 2008, 02:33:19 PM
Good.



To paraphrase, I think you are saying it is, "good to have no reasonable expectation of privacy"?
Where do you draw the line? Or don't you?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 13, 2008, 02:37:41 PM
The lines for the most part have been drawn by legislation and caselaw. The technology changes, but the lines haven't, for the most part.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: JDN on August 13, 2008, 02:59:21 PM
Now I understand; I had misinterpreted your "Good".  I had thought you were in favor of less expectation
of privacy.  I agree in most instances legislation and case law is quite clear, and overall, I think probably fair.
As noted above, I suppose GPS and new technology needs further case law, coming in on one side or another,
to bring closure to this specific debate.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 13, 2008, 03:20:41 PM
Every state requires that you display a state issued identifier on your vehicle for the use of government, including law enforcement purposes. You do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy for that vehicle information including registered owner/s, payment of fees/taxes and insurance status. This identifier can and has been used for surveillance purposes since cops have been chasing bad guys in cars.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: JDN on August 13, 2008, 08:52:54 PM
I understand; the expectation of "privacy" of or in a car is minimal.  But personal searches are different.
And if you have a GPS, leading the Police to you, yet you are on private property,
additional legal/warrant questions remain unanswered.  And is that right?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 13, 2008, 09:15:23 PM
As usual, GM is logical.

Where I still am left with doubt is that the reasonableness of the existing standard was developed in the context AND LIMITATIONS of the then existant technology.  As technological capabilities evolve ever more rapidly, are we headed towards a situation where everyone can be monitored all the time?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: JDN on August 13, 2008, 09:34:30 PM
Ahhhh that is my concern; protection/erosion of Civil Liberties.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 15, 2008, 01:49:23 PM
**It's easy to get excited about technology, but as cited below it's not the technology that matters. It's about what the courts see as the "reasonable expectation of privacy".**

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

KYLLO v. UNITED STATES

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

No. 99—8508. Argued February 20, 2001–Decided June 11, 2001
Suspicious that marijuana was being grown in petitioner Kyllo’s home in a triplex, agents used a thermal imaging device to scan the triplex to determine if the amount of heat emanating from it was consistent with the high-intensity lamps typically used for indoor marijuana growth. The scan showed that Kyllo’s garage roof and a side wall were relatively hot compared to the rest of his home and substantially warmer than the neighboring units. Based in part on the thermal imaging, a Federal Magistrate Judge issued a warrant to search Kyllo’s home, where the agents found marijuana growing. After Kyllo was indicted on a federal drug charge, he unsuccessfully moved to suppress the evidence seized from his home and then entered a conditional guilty plea. The Ninth Circuit ultimately affirmed, upholding the thermal imaging on the ground that Kyllo had shown no subjective expectation of privacy because he had made no attempt to conceal the heat escaping from his home. Even if he had, ruled the court, there was no objectively reasonable expectation of privacy because the thermal imager did not expose any intimate details of Kyllo’s life, only amorphous hot spots on his home’s exterior.

Held: Where, as here, the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of a private home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a Fourth Amendment “search,” and is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant. Pp. 3—13.

    (a) The question whether a warrantless search of a home is reasonable and hence constitutional must be answered no in most instances, but the antecedent question whether a Fourth Amendment “search” has occurred is not so simple. This Court has approved warrantless visual surveillance of a home, see California v. Ciraolo, 476 U.S. 207, 213, ruling that visual observation is no “search” at all, see Dow Chemical Co. v. United States, 476 U.S. 227, 234—235, 239. In assessing when a search is not a search, the Court has adapted a principle first enunciated in Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 361: A “search” does not occur–even when its object is a house explicitly protected by the Fourth Amendment–unless the individual manifested a subjective expectation of privacy in the searched object, and society is willing to recognize that expectation as reasonable, see, e.g., California v. Ciraolo, supra, at 211. Pp. 3—5.

    (b) While it may be difficult to refine the Katz test in some instances, in the case of the search of a home’s interior–the prototypical and hence most commonly litigated area of protected privacy–there is a ready criterion, with roots deep in the common law, of the minimal expectation of privacy that exists, and that is acknowledged to be reasonable. To withdraw protection of this minimum expectation would be to permit police technology to erode the privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. Thus, obtaining by sense-enhancing technology any information regarding the home’s interior that could not otherwise have been obtained without physical “intrusion into a constitutionally protected area,” Silverman v. United States, 365 U.S. 505, 512, constitutes a search–at least where (as here) the technology in question is not in general public use. This assures preservation of that degree of privacy against government that existed when the Fourth Amendment was adopted. Pp. 6—7.

    (c) Based on this criterion, the information obtained by the thermal imager in this case was the product of a search. The Court rejects the Government’s argument that the thermal imaging must be upheld because it detected only heat radiating from the home’s external surface. Such a mechanical interpretation of the Fourth Amendment was rejected in Katz, where the eavesdropping device in question picked up only sound waves that reached the exterior of the phone booth to which it was attached. Reversing that approach would leave the homeowner at the mercy of advancing technology–including imaging technology that could discern all human activity in the home. Also rejected is the Government’s contention that the thermal imaging was constitutional because it did not detect “intimate details.” Such an approach would be wrong in principle because, in the sanctity of the home, all details are intimate details. See e.g., United States v. Karo, 468 U.S. 705; Dow Chemical, supra, at 238, distinguished. It would also be impractical in application, failing to provide a workable accommodation between law enforcement needs and Fourth Amendment interests. See Oliver v. United States, 466 U.S. 170, 181. Pp. 7—12.

    (d) Since the imaging in this case was an unlawful search, it will remain for the District Court to determine whether, without the evidence it provided, the search warrant was supported by probable cause–and if not, whether there is any other basis for supporting admission of that evidence. Pp. 12—13.

190 F.3d 1041, reversed and remanded.

    Scalia, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Stevens, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and O’Connor and Kennedy, JJ., joined.



Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 15, 2008, 01:54:38 PM
As usual, GM is logical.

Where I still am left with doubt is that the reasonableness of the existing standard was developed in the context AND LIMITATIONS of the then existant technology.  As technological capabilities evolve ever more rapidly, are we headed towards a situation where everyone can be monitored all the time?

**The technology already exists to theoretically monitor everyone to a degree all the time. China tries. The US is nowhere near that.**
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 15, 2008, 02:04:14 PM
Ahhhh that is my concern; protection/erosion of Civil Liberties.

**It's easy to proclaim noble sounding statements about civil liberties while having only a superficial grasp of the complexities of the issues. Worrying about gov't oppression in the US is like worrying about Ebola while you smoke and are 100 pounds overweight. Is it theoretically a threat? Sure. What do the statistics say?**
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: LtMedTB on August 15, 2008, 02:18:47 PM
As usual, GM is logical.

Where I still am left with doubt is that the reasonableness of the existing standard was developed in the context AND LIMITATIONS of the then existant technology.  As technological capabilities evolve ever more rapidly, are we headed towards a situation where everyone can be monitored all the time?

**The technology already exists to theoretically monitor everyone to a degree all the time. China tries. The US is nowhere near that.**

How do you know?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 15, 2008, 02:29:16 PM
GM:

As always a pleasure conversing with you in the light you bring to heated subjects.


You ask "Is it theoretically a threat? Sure. What do the statistics say?"

Here's what the Court said: "that approach would leave the homeowner at the mercy of advancing technology–including imaging technology that could discern all human activity in the home. Also rejected is the Government’s contention that the thermal imaging was constitutional because it did not detect “intimate details.” Such an approach would be wrong in principle because, in the sanctity of the home, all details are intimate details."

Is this not dicta for the principal that standards the meaning of which are eviscerated by technological progress are unsatisfactory?


Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 15, 2008, 02:42:10 PM
http://www.ichrdd.ca/english/commdoc/publications/globalization/goldenShieldEng.html



Crafty Dog here, using the Moderator's Perogative:

GM, would you please be so kind as to summarize the rather lengthy contents of your URL?  :-)


Executive Summary

China today faces a very modern paradox. On one side, the government understands that information technologies are the engine driving the global economy, and that Chinese economic growth will depend in large measure on the extent to which the country is integrated with the global information infrastructure. At the same time, however, China is an authoritarian, single-party state. Continued social stability relies on the suppression of anti-government activities. To state the problem simply, political control is dependent on economic growth and economic growth requires the modernization of information technologies, which in turn, have the potential to undermine political control.

The "Great Firewall of China" is failing, largely due to the increased volume of Internet traffic in China. The government knows that it can no longer hope to filter out all "objectionable" material before it enters China’s networks; and so, faced with these contradictory forces of openness and control, China is seeking to strike a balance between the information-related needs of economic modernization and the security requirements of internal stability. In seeking to reach this balance, the Chinese state has found an extraordinary ally in private telecommunications firms located primarily in Western countries. Many companies, including notably Nortel Networks, until recently Canada’s largest firm, are playing key roles in meeting the security needs of the Chinese government. Nortel Networks and other international firms are in effect helping China to displace the firewall it constructed at the international gateway with a more sophisticated system of content filtration at the individual level.

Old style censorship is being replaced with a massive, ubiquitous architecture of surveillance: the Golden Shield. Ultimately the aim is to integrate a gigantic online database with an all-encompassing surveillance network – incorporating speech and face recognition, closed-circuit television, smart cards, credit records, and Internet surveillance technologies. This has been facilitated by the standardization of telecommunications equipment to facilitate electronic surveillance, an ambitious project led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US, and now adopted as an international standard.

Many people in China have been arrested for Internet-related "crimes," ranging from supplying e-mail addresses to Internet publications to circulating pro-democratic information or articles that are critical of the Chinese government, in blatant contradiction of international human rights law guaranteeing freedom of speech. Charges are typically "subversion" or "threatening to overthrow the government" as the line between criminal activity and the exercise of freedom of speech is non-existent in China. The development of this new all-encompassing architecture of electronic surveillance will make the lives of such courageous activists even more difficult.

In November 2000, 300 companies from over 16 countries attended a trade show in Beijing called Security China 2000. Among the organizers was the "Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Commission for the Comprehensive Management of Social Security." A central feature of the show was the Golden Shield project, launched to promote "the adoption of advanced information and communication technology to strengthen central police control, responsiveness, and crime combating capacity, so as to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of police work." China’s security apparatus announced an ambitious plan: to build a nationwide digital surveillance network, linking national, regional and local security agencies with a panoptic web of surveillance. Beijing envisions the Golden Shield as a database-driven remote surveillance system – offering immediate access to records on every citizen in China, while linking to vast networks of cameras designed to increase police efficiency.

In order to make the Golden Shield a reality, the Chinese government is dependent upon the technological expertise and investment of Western companies. Canada’s Nortel Networks is playing a key role in these developments as witnessed by:

-- its joint research with Tsinghua University on specific forms of speech recognition technology, for the purpose of automated surveillance of telephone conversations;

-- its strong and early support for FBI plans to develop a common standard to intercept telephone communications, known as CALEA, in conjunction with technology transfer through its joint venture, Guangdong Nortel (GDNT);

-- its close relationship with Datang Telecom, a Chinese firm with substantial interests in the state security market in China;

-- the promotion of JungleMUX which allows video surveillance data to be transported from remote cameras back to a centralized surveillance point to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS);

-- the deployment of its "Personal Internet" suite in Shanghai, greatly enhancing the ability of Internet service providers to track the communications of individual users;

-- a US$10 million project to build a citywide fibre-optic broadband network in Shanghai (OPTera) enabling central authorities to monitor the interests of subscribers at the "edge" of the network, principally through the Shasta 5000 firewall, in direct conflict with the right to privacy. This technology will also make it more difficult for dissidents to have clandestine communications and facilitate police monitoring of Internet users attempting to access URLs not judged appropriate by the Chinese government;

-- the integration of face recognition and voice recognition technology in collaboration with AcSys Biometrics, a subsidiary of Burlington, Ontario-based NEXUS. (2)

Many other Western firms have been involved in the development of a repressive state security apparatus through the following developments:

-- a nationwide database containing information on all adult Chinese citizens;

-- smart cards for all citizens which can be scanned without the owner’s knowledge at a distance of a few metres;

-- closed-circuit television to monitor public spaces;

-- technology which allows the Public Security Bureau to make instant comparisons of fingerprints;

-- development of firewalls in China.

The self-interested high-tech discourse promises that new information and telecommunication technologies are inherently democratic and will foster openness wherever they are used. China’s Golden Shield: Corporations and the Development of Surveillance Technology in the People’s Republic of China debunks this myth. Technology is embedded in a social context and, in this report, it has been shown to bolster repression in a one-party state in the name of expanding markets and exponential profits.

Introduction

China has long suffered from inadequate telecommunications. Economic growth has demanded modernization of an infrastructure characterized by outdated technology and limited access to the resources necessary to develop it. To overcome these deficits, the government has embarked on a well-financed effort to modernize its information infrastructure. China has therefore quickly become one of the world’s largest consumers of telecommunications equipment.

An important goal of this modernization has been the acquisition of advanced telecommunications equipment from industrialized nations, on the premise that the technologies of the information revolution provide China with the opportunity to "leapfrog" and vastly improve capabilities in areas related to telecommunications. The transfer of these technologies to China has been facilitated by two mutually supporting trends.

First, there is enormous competition among telecommunications firms to get a share of the relatively undeveloped but rapidly expanding Chinese telecommunications market – the largest market in the world. Naturally, the lure of potential billions has attracted every major telecommunications corporation, including US-based Lucent and Cisco, European wireless giants Nokia and Ericsson, and Canada’s Nortel Networks – not to mention countless others. From these companies, China is buying more than US$20 billion worth of telecom equipment a year.

China is reported to account for about 25% of the world’s market for telecommunications equipment and is expanding exponentially. Much of this growth is achieved through sales by foreign telecommunications companies and by joint ventures with Chinese partners, which brings us to the second important trend.

The installation of an advanced telecommunications infrastructure to facilitate economic reform greatly complicates the state’s internal security goals. As the amount of information traveling over China’s networks increases exponentially, the government’s ability to control that information declines.

The exponential growth of the Internet in China has led some to argue that as new technologies are adopted they will inevitably create a more open, democratic society. The premise of much research is that the Internet is an inherently democratizing medium, promoting pluralism, strengthening civil society, and pressuring governments to become more accountable to their people. In the post-Cold War world, the power of information and communication technology to transform repressive societies is often held to be self-evident.

Recent events in China present a rather different story. It is well documented that the Chinese government is committed to controlling online content and to restricting the access citizens have to information published outside the country. (3) They also aim to prevent the emergence of "virtual organizing" that has become an important feature of the Internet in other countries. In this regard, the Internet presents a number of unique challenges to the regime. Recent data from a Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) survey shows that 10% of users admit to regularly using proxy servers to defeat censorship, that most users trust foreign news sources almost as much as government sources, and that the majority believe that the Internet will have significant social and political effects. (4)

In light of this rapid transformation, Chinese authorities are keen to acquire new technologies that will serve to increase their surveillance capabilities. While the Internet may empower ordinary people, it may also provide the government with a new range of repressive tools to monitor private speech and censor public opinion.

From the first linking of China to the global Internet in 1994, central authorities have consistently sought to control China’s Internet connections. Heavily restricting international connectivity was a key principle in China’s nascent Internet security strategy. Now, seven years later, international connections for all five of China’s major networks (5) still pass through proxy servers at official international "gateways." (6) Filtering and monitoring of network traffic is still focused at this level. Derisively termed "The Great Firewall" (7) by hackers and journalists worldwide, this strategy has enjoyed varying degrees of success. Continued economic modernization, however, has led to exponential growth in the demand for international bandwidth, and the sheer volume of Internet traffic today poses a serious challenge to the strategy of State control at the gateway level.

Originally, there were many reasons for constructing the Chinese network along the lines of this "Great Firewall" model. The gateways would modulate the pace of China’s opening up to the world through electronic interaction. The government would decide at what rate to expand the connections and could theoretically shut them down in a social emergency.

The gateways were to serve as the first line of defence against anti-government network intrusions. They would serve as a firewall, restricting the amount of information about internal networks available to foreign intruders. The gateways were designed to prevent Chinese citizens from using the Internet to access forbidden sites and anti-government information from abroad. In theory, State control of the routing tables at the gateway level offered authorities the hope that they could prevent their own people from accessing foreign sites like the Cable News Network (CNN), the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the Tibet Information Network or Human Rights Watch/Asia.

China’s Internet regulations and legislation are guided by the principle of "guarded openness" – seeking to preserve the economic benefits of openness to global information, while guarding against foreign economic domination and the use of the Internet by domestic or foreign groups to coordinate anti-regime activity.

The stakes are high – for the government, as China integrates into the global economy, and for the would-be "cyber-dissident," who ultimately faces the death penalty for illegal use of the Internet.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 15, 2008, 02:53:05 PM
Crafty,

I think it's pretty clear that the courts have established that no matter what technology brings forth, it cannot be used by law enforcement without due regard for constitutional protections. If I had "x-ray goggles" and was using them to view inside your house, this has to meet the same standards as an old fashioned physical entry/search of your home. Better have a warrant or fall under the warrantless exemptions before doing so.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 15, 2008, 04:31:35 PM
GM, I get all that.

What does leave me uneasy though is the idea that under the standards you describe, the government will be able to monitor all our movements and more without tripping over the standard you enunciate. 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 15, 2008, 05:43:24 PM
As it stands, the US doesn't have the infrastructure for a police state. A rough estimate is that there are about 800,000 law enforcement officers nationwide. The vast majority of those are uniformed officers engaged in general law enforcement duties, and employed by small towns with less than 10 officers.

We don't have a "national police force". The US is the only nation in the world (to my knowledge) that has elected law enforcement officials. The vast majority of officers work at the local level under the direction of locally elected officials that shape the policy and character of the agencies.

Of those officers tasked to investigations, the vast majority work crimes with direct impact on their communities. Most work under immense caseloads trying to "clear" cases with very limited resources. I am not aware of any law enforcement agencies with too many officers and not enough crime.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: LtMedTB on August 15, 2008, 09:40:54 PM
As it stands, the US doesn't have the infrastructure for a police state. A rough estimate is that there are about 800,000 law enforcement officers nationwide. The vast majority of those are uniformed officers engaged in general law enforcement duties, and employed by small towns with less than 10 officers.

We don't have a "national police force". The US is the only nation in the world (to my knowledge) that has elected law enforcement officials. The vast majority of officers work at the local level under the direction of locally elected officials that shape the policy and character of the agencies.

Of those officers tasked to investigations, the vast majority work crimes with direct impact on their communities. Most work under immense caseloads trying to "clear" cases with very limited resources. I am not aware of any law enforcement agencies with too many officers and not enough crime.

And the NSA?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 16, 2008, 06:42:22 AM
What about it?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 16, 2008, 06:46:13 AM
I too am curious about where the NSA fits in your analysis, but right now I flesh out my question by adding that the point of my concern is not only that of "Big Brother is Watching all the time", but that even before we get to that level (agreed we are not there now, but once we do it will be too late) but that well before that Big Brother elements will tap into the capabilities of this burgeoning system of surviellance to look up what any politically unfriendly persons have been up to.  Wasn't Gov. Eliot Spitzer in trouble for using the police for privately motivated political purposes at the time he got caught with the hooker? (and just how did he get caught with the hooker?)  Haven't the Hillbillary Clintons misuse of the FBI shown us the risks here?  What happens when a Federal police starts putting tracking devices on the cars of all its opponents?  Are the private lives of all of the political opposition so perfect that they are willing to have their comings and goings gone over with a fine tooth comb before they challenge the powers that be?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 16, 2008, 06:54:06 AM
To paraphrase an infamous leader of a real police state, "How many divisions does the NSA have?"
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 16, 2008, 07:05:54 AM
More than the political opposition.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: LtMedTB on August 16, 2008, 08:06:54 AM
I won't speak for Crafty Dog, but my point is that liberties are lost slowly and by degrees. There's no way our freedoms could be taken away all at once. Walter E. Williams uses the analogy of throwing a frog into boiling water. The frog will leap out immediately. But if you put the frog into lukewarm water and turn up the heat slowly you can kill the frog. Now that I think about it, this analogy also appears in Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth, but Walter E. Williams beat him to it! :) One of the original understandings of liberty was to define liberty in the negative sense, in other words "freedom from" as opposed to "freedom for". Basically this meant "freedom from interference" as long as you did not infringe on the equal right of others. Simply put, this is the "freedom to be left alone" by the government.

What I see happening, and what many others see happening, is that slowly but surely, we are changing from a people with a government to a government with a people. It doesn't happen all at once, but when faced with the prospect of our phone calls being monitored, video cameras on every street corner, facial recognition software, the monitoring of banking transactions, taxes on every level, the digitalization of health care records, national ID cards, dogs sniffing our cars, and police watching our houses with thermal imaging cameras (often under the guise of the "war" on terrorism or the "war" on drugs), you can understand how a libertarian-minded person would be a bit concerned.

It's not just that the government oversteps its boundaries on occasion. It's the appalling herd-like mentality of democratic mass man, who seems all too ready to exchange fundamental freedoms for "safety" in the face of perceived exigencies. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that no one is watching. You can claim that it's easy to make noble-sounding statements about liberty when you lack a sophisticated view of the totality of circumstances, but you don't have to be a simpleton to be concerned about fundamental civil liberties. There have been many inspiring dissenting opinions rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court over the years that demonstrate the concerns are not limited to a tiny minority of ring-wing psychopaths.

I personally am most concerned about the fact that it's stigmatizing to openly discuss your fear of government power, as if you're a nut job huddled in a corner watching out for black helicopters. A review of American pre-Revolutionary literature shows that our forefathers were much more cognizant of the fact that liberty and the power of government exist in separate spheres, and that the former is the necessary victim of the latter, because the government has a rational desire to extend the scope of its own power. Unfortunately, it cannot do so without taking power away from the people. In the end it boils down to that most insidious of statements. "If you're innocent you have nothing to worry about." That may be. For now. This line of reasoning assumes that the U.S. is indestructible, and that a tyrant could never be in charge of this powerful and invasive state apparatus.

The only thing that has prevented the government from taking away our freedom is the genius of our forefathers in drafting the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Supreme Court. There have been some erosions of our liberties, but there have been some inspiring victories, too. The biggest threat comes from the apathy and ignorance of the people.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: maija on August 16, 2008, 09:55:16 AM
Fear is the easiest form of control (The evil doers are out there waiting to hurt you unless we.....). Those in positions of power have used it to force compliance for millenia.
How do you fix that ?
If laws are necessary for a society to survive, as are those elected to enforce them because of the baser qualities of human beings, what is the balance between personal responsibility and societal responsibility to check the predators, but also to check those supposed to protect us?
.....'the only thing to fear is fear itself'.....?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: LtMedTB on August 16, 2008, 10:03:16 AM
The short answer is, a constitution, a bill of rights, a separation of powers so that the people who pass the laws aren't the people enforcing the laws, an independent court system, and an educated citizenry. Liberty depends upon power for its maintenance, because there is no liberty within anarchy, but when government becomes too powerful, there is no liberty. So like pharmacology, there is a therapeutic dose of government that is optimal toward the end of human freedom. It's hard to say the exact moment a drug becomes toxic to the human body. You look for side effects and you sample lab values. You don't wait until the patient is critically ill to attempt a resuscitation, because the odds are against you.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: maija on August 16, 2008, 10:22:26 AM
I agree, but I would more emphasis on the "educated citizenry" aspect. A free thinking, educated people with the capacity for critical thinking and an experience of REALITY that can sense manipulation, especially when fear is used to veil intent, is key to all the rest.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: LtMedTB on August 16, 2008, 10:58:36 AM
For example?
Title: The frog will jump
Post by: rachelg on August 16, 2008, 04:04:54 PM

"Walter E. Williams uses the analogy of throwing a frog into boiling water. The frog will leap out immediately. But if you put the frog into lukewarm water and turn up the heat slowly you can kill the frog. Now that I think about it, this analogy also appears in Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth, but Walter E. Williams beat him to it! :)"


I actually agree with your point but someone has to stand up for frogs everywhere and frogs will jump.
http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/frogboil.asp
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 17, 2008, 04:02:11 AM
I think we can all agree the frog metaphor has been beaten, or maybe boiled to death. :evil:

All I know about the NSA is what is open source information. To the best of my knowledge, the NSA has an army of mathematicians and linguists only, aside from their "NSA police" and other support personnel. It's all about SigInt collection and analysis OCONUS. To my knowledge, they do not have any direct action capabilities.

I'm unsure why the NSA's existence would be objected to.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 17, 2008, 04:09:31 AM
A line from an instructor in my police academy class years ago went something like "The public gets the law enforcement it deserves" obviously referencing Jefferson's statement on gov't.

The public elects the officials, that pass the laws, that law enforcement enforces. If you don't like the "war on drugs" as an example, then get the laws changed.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: maija on August 17, 2008, 09:38:41 AM
Lt MedTB:
The "Founding Fathers" seemed to have an appreciation of the weaknesses inherent in systems of power, building in the separation of powers and a system of checks and balances.
All words are open to interpretation, so it seems that it is the constant responsibility of any citizenry to stay engaged in this process of critical thinking; observing, evaluating, voting, dissenting - whatever is necessary.
Fear is a tried and true tactic to erode this independent thinking process, and I think it is worth stepping back and evaluating any large policy changes based on fear to see if they are rational or not, and to see if they are worth the cost.
e.g. "The bad people are a out there and a threat to you and your family. Unless we get the power to "X", we cannot guarantee your safety". True? Not true?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 17, 2008, 09:40:39 AM
Dang it GM, will you stop interrupting the flow with the facts?  :lol:

OK OK the NSA does not have any "divisions", but certainly other parts of the federal govt, of which they are a part, do.

Concerning changing the laws of the War on Drugs, several states have tried quite vigorously to do exactly that with regard to Mairjuana.  Initiatives have been passed in Alaska, Oregon, and California (and maybe others?) yet the Feds have continued on their merry way.  Yes I know federal law supersedes, but , , ,

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: LtMedTB on August 17, 2008, 11:12:53 AM
I think we can all agree the frog metaphor has been beaten, or maybe boiled to death. :evil:

All I know about the NSA is what is open source information. To the best of my knowledge, the NSA has an army of mathematicians and linguists only, aside from their "NSA police" and other support personnel. It's all about SigInt collection and analysis OCONUS. To my knowledge, they do not have any direct action capabilities.

I'm unsure why the NSA's existence would be objected to.

It's a privacy concern, GM. I'm not comfortable with the idea that the government may be monitoring my web surfing activities, phone calls, faxes, and banking transactions. Further, I shouldn't have to explain why that bothers me. It should be understood that the default position is that the people are left alone by the government. This subtle shifting of the burden to the people to explain why they object is exactly what concerns me. I don't care how many divisions the NSA has. I agree with Crafty Dog that it's not relevant to the question. All that matters is who is privy to the information the NSA develops and what they might do with it, either now or in the future. I don't like being watched. That's why I don't hang out in casinos.

Tom
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 17, 2008, 12:10:36 PM
LtMedTB,

You are active duty .mil, right?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 17, 2008, 01:46:05 PM
Lt MedTB:
The "Founding Fathers" seemed to have an appreciation of the weaknesses inherent in systems of power, building in the separation of powers and a system of checks and balances.
All words are open to interpretation, so it seems that it is the constant responsibility of any citizenry to stay engaged in this process of critical thinking; observing, evaluating, voting, dissenting - whatever is necessary.
Fear is a tried and true tactic to erode this independent thinking process, and I think it is worth stepping back and evaluating any large policy changes based on fear to see if they are rational or not, and to see if they are worth the cost.
e.g. "The bad people are a out there and a threat to you and your family. Unless we get the power to "X", we cannot guarantee your safety". True? Not true?


So, are there threats to the US, or is it just fearmongering?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: LtMedTB on August 17, 2008, 04:23:08 PM
LtMedTB,

You are active duty .mil, right?

Nope. Civilian Fire Lieutenant / Paramedic.

Tom
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: LtMedTB on August 17, 2008, 04:29:29 PM
Lt MedTB:
The "Founding Fathers" seemed to have an appreciation of the weaknesses inherent in systems of power, building in the separation of powers and a system of checks and balances.
All words are open to interpretation, so it seems that it is the constant responsibility of any citizenry to stay engaged in this process of critical thinking; observing, evaluating, voting, dissenting - whatever is necessary.
Fear is a tried and true tactic to erode this independent thinking process, and I think it is worth stepping back and evaluating any large policy changes based on fear to see if they are rational or not, and to see if they are worth the cost.
e.g. "The bad people are a out there and a threat to you and your family. Unless we get the power to "X", we cannot guarantee your safety". True? Not true?


So, are there threats to the US, or is it just fearmongering?

This is where I see both sides of it. There are certainly real threats to US security. No question about that. I also think hindsight is 20/20. I can't get on board with the idea that the Bush Administration misled the American people into a "war for oil" by fabricating evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Whether it was right or wrong to invade Iraq a second time, I believe the President meant well, and believed Saddam was a real threat. On the other hand, I despise Orwellian euphemisms like the "Patriot Act".

Tom
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 17, 2008, 04:42:00 PM
Tom,

I think the reforms in the PATRIOT act were needed and neccesary. There is a lot of hype surrounding it by people who really can't define why it's bad or can suggest better options.

G M (civ. police Lt.)
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 17, 2008, 05:18:18 PM
I can think of at least 343 reasons that a firefighter would want the NSA to employ their capabilities to intercept and analyze communications in al qaeda infested areas.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: LtMedTB on August 17, 2008, 05:54:58 PM
I can think of at least 343 reasons that a firefighter would want the NSA to employ their capabilities to intercept and analyze communications in al qaeda infested areas.

Even if it's the best legislation ever drafted (I can't help but think of the movie The Departed), I find euphemisms insulting.

Consider the dissenting opinion by Justices Marshall and Brennan in Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives (1989) -- the U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld random drug testing of public employees in "safety sensitive" positions in the absence of any evidence of wrong doing:

"The issue in this case is not whether declaring a war on illegal drugs is good public policy. The importance of ridding our society of such drugs is, by now, apparent to all. Rather, the issue here is whether the Government's deployment in that war of a particularly Draconian weapon — the compulsory collection and chemical testing of railroad workers' blood and urine — comports with the Fourth Amendment. Precisely because the need for action against the drug scourge is manifest, the need for vigilance against unconstitutional excess is great. History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure. The World War II relocation-camp cases, Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 81 (1943); Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944), and the Red scare and McCarthy-era internal subversion cases, Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919); Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494 (1951), are only the most extreme reminders that when we allow fundamental freedoms to be sacrificed in the name of real or perceived exigency, we invariably come to regret it."

Tom
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 17, 2008, 06:17:10 PM
I think it's entirely reasonable to UA people in "safety sensitive" positions. An impaired person shows up for work at a fast food joint, maybe you get the wrong order at the drive thru. A railroad employee goes to work impaired and as a result a chlorine tanker breaches in the midst of a densely populated urban area at o'dark 30 in the A.M. and you know better than I how nightmarish that would be.

My jurisdiction borders a rail line and I see all sorts of interesting placards on the tank cars passing by at all hours. My PPE consists of a dark blue polyester uniform and reminds me of the old hazmat joke:

"How do firefighters know there is a hazmat spill?"

"All the dead cops laying around"
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: LtMedTB on August 17, 2008, 06:43:28 PM
I think it's entirely reasonable to UA people in "safety sensitive" positions. An impaired person shows up for work at a fast food joint, maybe you get the wrong order at the drive thru. A railroad employee goes to work impaired and as a result a chlorine tanker breaches in the midst of a densely populated urban area at o'dark 30 in the A.M. and you know better than I how nightmarish that would be.

My jurisdiction borders a rail line and I see all sorts of interesting placards on the tank cars passing by at all hours. My PPE consists of a dark blue polyester uniform and reminds me of the old hazmat joke:

"How do firefighters know there is a hazmat spill?"

"All the dead cops laying around"

You guys do make great canaries! LOL! :)
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 19, 2008, 04:56:49 AM
As logical as GM is, I still think there is a legitimate issue of deep importance here.

The natural slack of Life that has protected us from the State achieving Orwellian capabilities is being tightened-- at an accelerating pace.  The plethora of laws and petty regulations that are not fully enforced because of lack of Orwellian "Big Brother is Watching" capabilities WILL become ever more rigorously and vigorously enforced. 

Changing subjects (for a moment?) here's this:

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1. The September 2008 issue of the AELE Monthly Law Journal is online, with three new articles:

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Police Interaction with Homeless Persons 
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http://www.aele.org/law/2008-9MLJ101.html

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Disciplinary Consequences of Peace Officer Untruthfulness
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*** Law Enforcement Liability Reporter ***

* Extricating a motorist
Officers acted reasonably in pulling driver from his car when he refused to get out as directed and placing him on the ground to handcuff him. The motorist had allegedly driven in a manner that caused his car to hit curbs and other objects. The court found that the force used was not excessive under these circumstances. Wisler v. City of Fresno, #CV 06-1694, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 50843 (E.D. Cal.).
http://www.aele.org/law/2008LRSEP/wisler.html

* Lethal Force
Officer who shot a suspect acted reasonably because he kept his left hand concealed during a standoff, and he told officers that he "had something" to make the officers do what he "could not," as well as having previously told a 911 operator that he could easily provoke an officer to shoot him. The officer who shot the plaintiff believed that he had made a threatening movement with his concealed hand. Dague v. Dumesic, #07-15317, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 15511 (Unpub. 9th Cir.).
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* Prisoner Assault: By Officers

Federal appeals court upholds jury verdict for defendant corrections officers in lawsuit brought by prisoner allegedly injured by them when they used force to extract him from his cell. The plaintiff prisoner admitted that he had a weapon in his pocket at the time of the incident, and the evidence showed that he had been belligerent and uncooperative, and created a disturbance. Pepper spray and a 15 OC Stinger grenade used against the prisoner had little effect and failed to subdue him. The officers then shot a 37MM Ferret OC powder round and a 28b Stinger 37 MM 60 Cal. rubber-ball round, and again failed to subdue the prisoner. Another Ferret OC powder round fired into the cell then went through a mattress that the prisoner used to barricade his cell door, and hit him in the groin area, finally subduing him. Muhammad v. McCarrell, #07-2235, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 16682 (8th Cir.).
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Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: SB_Mig on August 19, 2008, 09:19:09 AM
GM,

I'd be interested on your LEO take on this exchange:

A lecture on NOT talking to the police:

Part One - Law professor

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4097602514885833865 (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4097602514885833865)

Part Two - Detective

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6014022229458915912&hl=en (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6014022229458915912&hl=en)

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 19, 2008, 11:41:12 AM
GM, I too await your response to those two, but while the rest of us wait, I indulge in a moment of frivolity:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sohtIosIXg8

here is a longer version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CU6AVtQethw&feature=related
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: SB_Mig on August 19, 2008, 01:48:41 PM
"...we made brownies. And I think we're dead. Time is moving really, really, really, really slow."

Wow...

Title: DA/LEO lia for failure to disclose exculpatory evidence
Post by: G M on August 20, 2008, 07:34:51 AM
Ok, I'll post more later, but to get to the main points, I liked the Det. although he didn't go into enough detail to clarify his point, but the prof is a bonehead. Confirming my opinion about many defense attorneys, the prof appears to have stopped doing legal research after getting his J.D.

Read the caselaw below and note how it undercuts most of the prof's assertions:


http://iacp.org/documents/index.cfm?document_id=25&document_type_id=16&fuseaction=document

Officer Liability for Failure to Disclose Exculpatory Evidence

Mark Newbold, Deputy City Attorney, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte, NC

Police chiefs should be aware that their officers could be subject to liability in federal court for failing to disclose to a prosecutor any evidence that may be favorable to a defendant. Although the federal courts are divided as to the source of this obligation, it appears that officers acting in bad faith could be found to have committed an "affirmative abuse of power." Such allegations against police officers are rare; nevertheless, they are often difficult to rebut. This column reviews the important court decisions on the issue and makes recommendations to police departments to reduce the risk of litigation.

Brief History of Prosecutor's Duty

The landmark case of Brady v. Maryland1 places on a prosecutor an affirmative constitutional duty to disclose exculpatory evidence to a defendant. This constitutional duty is triggered by the impact that the favorable evidence has on the outcome of the criminal proceeding. It requires the prosecutor to evaluate a case in its entirety and look at the cumulative effect that withholding the information has on the outcome of the trial.

Brady arose out of a line of cases going back to the early 1900s that addressed circumstances where prosecutors knowingly presented perjured or false evidence.2 Not too long ago discovery was virtually nonexistent in criminal proceedings. At times, fundamental fairness took a backseat to the adversarial process and the pressure to win. The result is the need for some prosecutors to be reined in and reminded that fundamental fairness is always more important than obtaining a guilty verdict.

The next chapter unfolded in Brady. The prosecutor in that case did not affirmatively present false or misleading information to the court. Rather, the prosecutor suppressed a statement favorable to the defendant after the defendant made a request for such statements. In response to the prosecutor's decision to withhold evidence, the court in Brady stated, "We now hold that the suppression of evidence by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment, irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution."3 The court explicitly reasoned that fundamental fairness outweighed adversarial posturing and required that the accused be afforded a review of information that is favorable to his defense.4

Prosecutor's Duty in Brady Expanded

In Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972), the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the prosecutor's duty to disclose evidence relative to the credibility of a governmental witness.5 Later, in United States v. Agurs, 427 U.S. 97 (1976), the Court made it clear that the defendant need not request exculpatory information from the prosecutor. Rather the duty to disclose attached regardless of whether the defense requested the evidence.

In Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419 (1995), the Supreme Court reviewed the Brady doctrine and found three circumstances where the duty attaches: first, where "previously undisclosed evidence revealed that the prosecution introduced trial testimony that it knew or should have known was perjured." Id.; second, "where the Government failed to accede to a defense request for disclosure of some specific kind of exculpatory evidence." Id.; and third, where the defense failed to request information or made a general request for exculpatory evidence. Id.

The effect of the above is that prosecutors can no longer feel comfortable holding back some evidence that might be exculpatory. In order to avoid a breach of their duty, cautious prosecutors must now continuously review their files and constantly evaluate their cases with an eye towards identifying exculpatory evidence.6

Favorable Evidence Must Be "Material"

The constitutional duty is not triggered simply because the evidence might be favorable to the defendant. Rather, the touchstone of materiality is whether the failure to disclose the information undermines the confidence in the outcome of the trial. The failure to disclose strikes at the very purpose of the trial itself, which is to ensure the accused is afforded a process that is fundamentally fair before the accused is deprived of his or her freedom or property.

"The question is not whether the defendant would more likely than not have received a different verdict with the evidence," the Court wrote in Kyles, "but whether in its absence he received a fair trial, understood as a trial worthy of a confidence. A 'reasonable probability' of a different result is accordingly shown when the government's evidentiary suppression 'undermines confidence in the trial.'"7

An Officer's Duty to Disclose Evidence to the Prosecutor

Inevitably, some defendants sought to extend the reasoning in Brady to police officers. Rather than correcting alleged disclosure violations by police by remanding or reversing criminal proceedings, several courts in the late 1980s allowed defendants to file civil actions for damages in federal court against officers. Unlike prosecutors who are generally immune from civil actions for their prosecutorial acts, officers are accorded only qualified immunity. Essentially, officers were being held to the same standard as prosecutors but were treated differently when it came to the remedy available to the plaintiff.

One such example is McMillian v. Johnson, 88 F.3d 1554 (11th Cir. 1996), where a former prison inmate sued several law enforcement officials for damages after a murder charge was dismissed against him. McMillian alleged, among other claims, that police officers violated his due process rights by withholding exculpatory and impeachment evidence from the prosecutor. Specifically, officers were accused of withholding three statements from the prosecutor that would have contradicted evidence that was admitted at trial.

In McMillian the court discussed the relationship of Brady to an officer's duty to disclose. "The Constitution imposes the duty to disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense to the prosecutor," the court wrote. "Investigators satisfy their obligation under Brady when they turn exculpatory and impeachment evidence over to the prosecutor." Id. at 1567. "Our case law clearly established that an accused's due process rights are violated when the police conceal exculpatory or impeachment evidence." Id. at 1569.

The court in McMillian relied on the approach adopted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which reasoned that "police are also part of the prosecution, and the taint on the trial is no less if they, rather than the state's attorney, were guilty of the nondisclosure."8 The court wrote that "the duty to disclosure [sic] is that of the state, which ordinarily acts through the prosecuting attorney; but if he too is the victim of police suppression of the material information, the state's failure is not on that account excused." Id.9

In Jean v. Collins, 221 F.3d 656 (4th Cir. 2000), Jean was convicted of rape and first-degree sexual offenses. The court held that the government's failure to disclose audio recordings and accompanying hypnosis reports were Brady violations. The court noted that a police officer who withholds exculpatory information from a prosecutor can be liable under Section 1983 but only where the officer's failure to disclose the exculpatory information deprived the Section 1983 plaintiffs of their right to a fair trial. Id.

One Size Does Not Fit All

The role of the police is not the same as that of the prosecutor. Hence, it is inconsistent to hold the police to the same standard.10 Moreover, there are several good common-sense reasons for not holding officers to the same standard. The terms "exculpatory," "material," and "impeachment" are so steeped with technical legalistic meaning that even a trained prosecutor has difficulty determining when a piece of evidence falls within his or her duty to disclose.

Furthermore, evidence that is favorable to the defendant may not, in many circumstances, be identified as such until the entire case is ready for trial. In some investigations the accumulation of evidence occurs over a period of years. What may have been a seemingly meaningless statement made by a person early in the investigation may not actually be favorable to the defendant until it is compared to other pieces of evidence that are collected years later in the investigation. In other investigations the identification of the evidence as exculpatory does not occur until the defendant decides to produce his or her evidence. This in effect allows the defendant to control the timing of the when evidence will be identified as favorable&3151;a questionable tactic if officers are to be exposed to damages.

Reducing Liability Risks

Although the federal courts are divided as to the source of the obligation of officers to turn exculpatory evidence over to the prosecutor, it is clear that officers may be subject to liability in federal court for failing to do so. The dust has not settled sufficiently for us to determine just what minimal level of culpability must be involved before officers will be held liable for failing to disclose exculpatory evidence. Nevertheless, it is clear that officers acting in "bad faith" could be found to have committed an "affirmative abuse of power." If an officer commits an affirmative abuse of power then he or she has deprived a defendant of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.11 An example of bad faith would be where officers knew the information was exculpatory but deliberately removed the information from the file so the prosecutor could not review the information.

Obviously this does not happen frequently. Nevertheless, it is difficult for officers to rebut allegations of bad faith. The fact that information did not make it over to the prosecutor opens the door to the assertion that it was done in bad faith. Essentially, it is better not to answer allegations of missing documents in the first place. The following are some common-sense suggestions that police departments may want to consider for reducing the risk of litigation on this issue.


Consider installing a tracking system that identifies when the entire file is transmitted to the prosecutor. There should be a way to verify that the prosecutor has acknowledged receipt of the investigative file. This way, the department can verify that the contents of the materials were in fact transferred to the prosecutor.

Discourage investigators from keeping a separate personal file of the investigation. Maintain the integrity of the official file. This prevents investigators from inadvertently forgetting to place material in the official file. The discovery of a statement anywhere other than the official file opens the door to allegations of deliberate nondisclosure. It is much easier to keep track of the investigation than to have to counter the allegation of intentionally mishandling a case.

Make sure the prosecutor is aware of "street" files that contain information on governmental witnesses. Always run government witnesses' names through these files. If you get a hit, the prosecutor needs to determine whether the information is exculpatory or effects the witness's credibility.

Come to a consistent understanding on the disposition of handwritten notes. Some investigators choose to discard the notes after they complete their reports. In this circumstance, investigators will have the burden of showing that as a matter of routine and habit they always recorded the entire contents of notes onto the report and therefore had no need to retain the notes. However, if your investigators discard their notes is because they don't want the defense to know about them, they are opening themselves up to allegations of deliberately destroying potential exculpatory statements.

Don't hesitate to document the precise dates and times you discuss the case with the prosecutor. The documentation will come in handy in the event there is a dispute as to whether you provided them with exculpatory evidence. Remember they have prosecutorial immunity, you don't.


Make sure recruit and in-service training includes training on an officer's duty to disclose exculpatory evidence. Do not rely solely on local and federal prosecutor's presentations. They tend to focus only on their duties under Brady and Giglio, rather than addressing the officer's duty to disclose.

Endnotes


Brady v. State of Maryland, 373 U.S. 89 (1968).

In Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U.S. 103, 112 (1935), the Supreme Court made clear that deliberate deception of a court and jurors by the presentation of known false evidence is incompatible with "rudimentary demands of justice." This was reaffirmed in Pyle v. Kansas, 317 U.S. 213 (1942). In Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264 (1959), the Court continued with this line of reasoning and said, "The same result obtains when the State, although not soliciting false evidence, allows it to go uncorrected when it appears." Id. at 269.

Brady, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 1197.

"The principle [supporting the holding] is not punishment of society for misdeeds of a prosecutor but avoidance of an unfair trial to the accused. Society wins not only when the guilty are convicted but when criminal trials are fair; our system of justice suffers when any accused is treated unfairly." Id.

"When the reliability of a given witness may well be determinative of guilt or innocence nondisclosure of evidence affecting credibility falls within this general rule." Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150, 153 (1972).

"Nevertheless, there is a significant practical difference between the pretrial decision of the prosecutor and the post-trial decision for the judge. Because we are dealing with an inevitably imprecise standard and because the significance of an item of evidence can seldom be predicted accurately until the entire record is complete, the prosecutor will resolve doubtful questions in favor of disclosure." United States v. Agurs, 98 S.Ct. 2392, 2400 (1976).

Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419, 432 (1995), citing United States v. Bagley, 473 U.S. 667, 678 (1985).

Freeman v. Georgia, 599 F.2d 65, 69 (5th Cir. 1979), and Geter v. Fortenberry, 849 F.2d 1550 (5th Cir. 1988).

However, it is submitted that the precedent cited does not directly support the theory that officers should be held personally liable for failure to disclose exculpatory evidence to the prosecutor. At best, McMillian relies on authority that stands for the proposition that the officer's actions will be imputed to the state—not to him personally.

"The Brady duty is framed by the dictates of the adversary system and the prosecution's legal role therein. Legal terms of art define its bounds and questions as whether an item of evidence has exculpatory or 'impeachment' value and whether such evidence is 'material.' It would be inappropriate to charge police with answering these same questions, for their job of gathering evidence is quite different from the prosecution's task of evaluating it. This is especially true because the prosecutor can view the evidence from the perspective of the case as a whole while police officers, who are often involved in only one portion of the case, may lack necessary context. To hold that the contours of the due process duty applicable to the police must be identical to those of the prosecutor's Brady duty would thus improperly mandate a one-size-fits all regime." Jean v. Collins, 221 F3d 656 (4th Cir 2000).

In Jean, the court concludes the standard applicable to officers is analogous to the circumstances in Arizona v. Youngblood where the court refused to find officers violated the due process clause in the absence of evidence of bad faith on the part of the officers. (Officers failed to refrigerate evidence connected to a rape).


This column is prepared monthly by members of IACP's Legal Officers Section. Interested section members should coordinate their contributions with Elliot Spector at 860-233-8251.                       

For more information, please contact:
Gene Voegtlin
(703)836-6767, ext. 211
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 20, 2008, 03:11:33 PM
In the US criminal justice system, there are different ethical standards for the different players.

The defense attorney has an obligation to advocate in the best interest of his client. Guilty or innocent, right or wrong, the defense is only interested in the best possible outcome for those he/she represents. Not society, not justice, the client alone is the person to be served.

The prosecutor is supposed to be interested in justice and act in furtherance of justice and the public good. Win/loss ratios, political gain are not supposed to be part of their consideration in choosing to prosecute or not.

The law enforcement officer is supposed to be a witness for the truth. Not a cat's paw of the prosecution or an enemy of the defense but a fair and impartial finder of fact. Conducting an investigation is like doing a complex math problem, not only do you need to get the right answer, you have to show your work. Through the entire legal process, you need to be able to demonstrate how you went from the start of the investigation and arrived at probable cause, and hopefully beyond a reasonable doubt.

If a woman gets murdered, and the husband tells you about a one armed man that did it, you'd better make a good faith effort to investigate that claim. Based on actuarial tables, the husband is the best suspect, but although statistics and patterns of crime are something to be aware of, you need to pursue every lead and follow the evidence where it leads you. You don't assume the husband did it, then try to assemble a case against him, you make a good faith effort to reconstruct what did happen and pursue every lead. What the law professor leaves out, is that every bit of evidence will be examined and every aspect of the investigation will be deconstructed and scrutinized on the stand.

As the caselaw I posted above states, as an investigator, you are obligated to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence to the prosecutor for discovery purposes. Failing to do so not only compromises the case, it places you in legal jeopardy if you fail to act in good faith.

Let me address the prof's core claim. If you are guilty of a crime, don't speak to the police. Agreed. However, if you did something that is potentially illegal, or potentially legal depending on certain elements you'd better make sure the cops know those elements that will vindicate you.

Let's say Miguel is walking down the street in Santa Barbara, minding his own business. Suddenly he is attacked by three thugs. Given the disparity of force and the violence of the assault on his person, Miguel uses an edged weapon against the attackers. One falls to the ground, mortally wounded, the two others flee to tend to their wounds. While the battle was engaged, a passerby calls 911 to report a "fight in progress". As patrol units roll up, the find Miguel standing over the fallen perp, weapon in hand. Miguel gets taken down at gunpoint, cuffed and stuffed in the back of the patrol car.

Quickly, the initial investigation shows that Miguel is a solid citizen with a clean record. The decedent is one Johnny Ratzo, a freshly paroled felon with a violent criminal hx that goes back to his teens. CDC has validated him as a member of the Aryan Brotherhood and his corpse is littered with prison tats.

Heeding the advice he saw on the net from a law professor, Miguel immediately "lawyers up" and says nothing but a request for an attorney. The SBPD det. that catches the case arrives on scene and examines what he has:

1. Dead Johnny Ratzo, apparently killed by edged weapon wounds.

2. Live Miguel Goodguy, in possession of a knife covered in blood who refuses to make any statement explaining how he came to be disheveled and covered in blood.

There is a minimal crime scene to be documented. Pretty much photos of the decedent and any visible blood spatter. The crime scene tech mistakenly bags Miguel's knife in a biohazard bag fearing bloodborne pathogens after seeing the badly infected track marks where Johnny Ratzo had been skin popping meth since leaving Pelican Bay.

So, the det has P.C. to arrest Miguel and because Miguel has followed the advice from the professor, the opportunity to preserve the serological/DNA evidence that would demonstrated that Miguel acted in self defense against multiple attackers is lost. Because the case appears to be so straight forward, no other investigation is needed to pursue the case.

Because of Miguel's silence, the det. never queries any database to check for known criminal associates of Johnny Ratzo. Because of that, when those two known associates drive to Bakersfield for medical treatment, and BPD gets called by the hospital to investigate two subjects with knife wounds, the is no "be on the lookout" flag attached their their names when BPD officers "run" them for wants and warrants at the hospital. Because Miguel made no statement, no one seizes the convenience store camera footage that puts Johnny Ratzo and his two associates two blocks away from the assault, 10 minutes before as they buy malt liquor and Philly blunts before the footage gets erased.

By the time Miguel gets his first face to face with his attorney, he's in county in an orange jumpsuit and all the evidence that would corroborate his self defense claim is gone. Meanwhile, the local press is abuzz with "local man charged with murder" coverage.

Sound good?

Here is the problem with defense attorneys, very few ever defend innocent people. Their bread and butter is defending Johnny Ratzo and his ilk. If Johnny Ratzo gets arrested, then nothing he says will help him, so from that perspective the advice is good. However, if you are a Miguel Goodguy, then it may well do more harm than good in a scenario like the one I illustrated above.




Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: SB_Mig on August 20, 2008, 04:09:31 PM
GM,

Nice to hear from someone with an insider's perspective.

This video is the first time I'd ever heard anyone say "Don't talk to the police, at all." While I can see how an individual might say something that could be "perceived" as incriminating, I would like to believe that a solid defense attorney and good detective work will clarify your intentions 99% of the time. And if not, I think you have placed yourself in what Guro Crafty refers to as a "Stupid people/stupid things" type situation which might make even the most objective of individuals question your actions. In which case, sucks to be you.

Thanks for the response.

I will also try to avoid Johnny Ratzo  :wink:
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: JDN on August 21, 2008, 11:42:49 AM
Let's get this straight; Miquel Goodguy killed one (Johnny Ratzo) and wounded two others forcing them to flee.  And Miguel is covered in blood.  No witnesses to how it started, just one witnesses report, "fight in progress".  Seems to me that the Det. has PC to arrest Mr. Goodguy regardless of how he tells the story and/or the previous arrest record of the "victims". 

Talking to police MAY get him exonerated OR arrested.  And his own words might bury him later.  The "disparity of force and violence of the assault" needs to be proven and evaluated by the DA.  And hanging overhead is the potential civil action of the "sweet and innocent" bride of dear but dead Johnny Ratzo.  What was Mr. Goodguy's state of mind?  Could lethal force have been avoided?  Did he try to retreat, or did he take the attack to them?  We (the police) don't know the "facts", just Mr. Goodguy's opinion. 

I still would think Basic Rule # is to keep your mouth shut.  "I am so shook up, I just can't talk right now..." and wait until your attorney arrives is good advice.  Wait for an attorney; his job is to defend you.

As an example, most Officer Involved Shooting Protocols ask for the officer involved to give a voluntary statement immediately after the shooting.  Yet in nearly every case BEFORE giving a voluntary statement to his own police department the officer involved will "speak with their attorney PRIOR to giving a voluntary statement."  Now, if a police officer thinks an attorney is necessary BEFORE he gives a voluntary statement, I sure do!
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 21, 2008, 06:30:05 PM
Let's get this straight; Miquel Goodguy killed one (Johnny Ratzo) and wounded two others forcing them to flee.  And Miguel is covered in blood.  No witnesses to how it started, just one witnesses report, "fight in progress".  Seems to me that the Det. has PC to arrest Mr. Goodguy regardless of how he tells the story and/or the previous arrest record of the "victims".

**He does have PC, however depending on state law and department policy, the Det or ranking officer on scene may well have the discretion to not arrest Miguel on the scene while the investigation takes place. Self defense is an absolute defense against a criminal charge, not a mitigating factor. It very well could be forwarded to the DA's office to determine if charges should be pursued. The DA might bring charges or convene a grand jury to examine the case to decide if there are charges to be pursued.** 

Talking to police MAY get him exonerated OR arrested. 

**Without saying a word, there is PC to arrest Miguel. In choosing to do so, he risks losing evidence that could be collected that would corroborate his claim of self defense. Lots of jurors expect that a rightious person would indeed make some sort of statement to law enforcement, especially a statement asserting self defense.**

And his own words might bury him later.  The "disparity of force and violence of the assault" needs to be proven and evaluated by the DA. 

**If there were three assailants, that's all you need for disparity of force that would justify Miguel using deadly force. There are plenty of use of force expert witnesses that can testify how three unarmed attacks can quickly overwhelm a single person and cause him/her serious bodily injury/death. Most everyone in law enforcement understands this concept**

And hanging overhead is the potential civil action of the "sweet and innocent" bride of dear but dead Johnny Ratzo. 

**Civil liability hangs over the head of everyone at all times. In self defense, the 1st problem is surviving the confrontation, the 2nd is the criminal justice system, the civil side is the least of your worries. If Miguel ends up doing time in the CDC, a civil suit from Johnny Ratzo's survivors is really the least of his problems. If Miguel were cleared on the criminal side, then it would be tougher to pursue something on the civil side. Still, that's the least of the concerns in this scenario.**

What was Mr. Goodguy's state of mind?  Could lethal force have been avoided?  Did he try to retreat, or did he take the attack to them?  We (the police) don't know the "facts", just Mr. Goodguy's opinion. 

**Once Miguel makes the assertion that he acted in self defense, then he has a due process right to that assertion being investigated as the caselaw I posted above says. The investigation pieces together facts, and with a degree of cooperation from Miguel then there is opportunity for evidence that corroborates his claim that there were multiple attackers to be found and documented.**

I still would think Basic Rule # is to keep your mouth shut.  "I am so shook up, I just can't talk right now..." and wait until your attorney arrives is good advice.  Wait for an attorney; his job is to defend you.

**Big boy rules apply. You do what you think is in your best interest. Unless you have a prior professional relationship with an attorney and a LARGE retainer, it's very unlikely he/she will be rolling to represent you minutes after a self defense incident.**

As an example, most Officer Involved Shooting Protocols ask for the officer involved to give a voluntary statement immediately after the shooting. 

**OIS policies vary from dept. to dept. Law enforcement officers have issues related to Garrity that allows the agency to compel a statement/written report that citizens don't face. My dept. requires a written report for any use of force to be completed before the end of the shift. Were I to have a similar encounter with a Johnny Ratzo while off duty, i'd make an initial statement to the responding officers to ensure that they had the evidence that would corroborate my assertion of a lawful use of force. Yes, i'd get legal representation, but i'd make an initial statement as well**

 Yet in nearly every case BEFORE giving a voluntary statement to his own police department the officer involved will "speak with their attorney PRIOR to giving a voluntary statement."  Now, if a police officer thinks an attorney is necessary BEFORE he gives a voluntary statement, I sure do!

**The point were are debating is not to have an attorney or not, but if it's good policy to never talk to the police, no matter what.**
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: JDN on August 22, 2008, 06:48:57 AM

**The point were are debating is not to have an attorney or not, but if it's good policy to never talk to the police, no matter what.**[/b]
[/quote]

Perhaps I was/am not clear; often there is a need and/or it is appropriate to talk to police; however I think it ONLY should be done with one's lawyer present; not in the heat of the moment when you are under extreme stress and adrenalin is out of control; people say the strangest things and it might come back to haunt you.  As you pointed out, if a shooting happened while you are on duty, you are required (unlike a normal citizen who may rightfully decline to answer) to file a report by the end of the day, yet note, even you (a trained officer of the law) are not required nor expected to say anything at the scene.  Why?  Because officers understand, your union understands that by the end of the day, you have had time to get your wits about you AND contact an attorney.  I think a normal citizen should simply do the same.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 22, 2008, 07:08:18 AM
Ok, say it's you vs. Johnny Ratzo. Now you're standing over Johnny but no passer-by has dialed 911. Are you going to call 911? What do you say to the dispatcher on the recorded line? Do you have an attorney on retainer? Will your attorney call 911 for you ?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: JDN on August 22, 2008, 07:45:58 AM
First and immediately I would call 911. I would say something short like, "send an ambulance, I was attacked and someone is very badly hurt, I am located at ...." And no more.  Next, I would then call my attorney (I have enough friends who are one - no retainer necessary) and follow his/her advice. 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 22, 2008, 12:33:26 PM
Hmmmmm. That kind of sounds like making a brief statement to the police.....    :evil:
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: JDN on August 22, 2008, 12:43:16 PM
Hmmmmm. That kind of sounds like making a brief statement to the police.....    :evil:

Maybe  :-D  hmmm

But it's a short one and I talk fast.   :-)



Title: CATO Policy Forum
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 29, 2008, 06:40:54 AM
Should No-Knock Police Raids be Rare-or Routine?

POLICY FORUM
Thursday, September 11, 2008
4:00 PM (Reception To Follow)

Featuring Cheye Calvo, Mayor, Berwyn Heights, Maryland, Radley Balko, Senior Writer, Reason and author of Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America, Peter Christ, Co-founder, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Moderated by Tim Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute.

The Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

 Watch the Event Live in RealVideo
Listen to the Event in RealAudio (Audio Only)

The Prince George’s County police department is under fire for a recent drug raid on the home of Berwyn Heights mayor Cheye Calvo. Unbeknownst to Calvo, a box containing marijuana was delivered to his home. Shortly thereafter, police officers kicked in the front door and shot both of Calvo’s pet Labrador retrievers. The police have subsequently cleared Calvo of any wrongdoing but are unapologetic about their raid tactics. Are no-knock, paramilitary raids an appropriate tactic for drug investigations? Or do sudden, unannounced entries bring unnecessary violence to police investigations? Join us for a discussion of the Prince George’s incident and, more broadly, the militarization of police work in America.

Cato events, unless otherwise noted, are free of charge. To register for this event, please fill out the form below and click submit or email events@cato.org, fax (202) 371-0841, or call (202) 789-5229 by 4:00 PM, Wednesday, September 10, 2008. Please arrive early. Seating is limited and not guaranteed. News media inquiries only (no registrations), please call (202) 789-5200.

If you can't make it to the Cato Institute, watch this forum live online.

http://cato.org/event.php?eventid=5268
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: maija on September 16, 2008, 04:33:24 PM
Here is the link to the Law Enforcement - Military Trainers issue of the FMA Digest just out:
Acrobat Reader – Printable:
http://www.fmadigest.com/Issues/special-editions/2008/Special-Edition_FMA-LawEnforcement-MilitaryTrainersII.pdf

Contains articles from trainers that use FMA when teaching LEO and Military.
Title: Force Science News
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 06, 2008, 04:51:07 AM
New study ranks risks of injury from 5 major force options



   
How would you rank the relative risk for officers and suspects suffering injury from these 5 force options:

• Empty-hand control techniques
• Baton
• OC spray
• Conducted energy weapons (Tasers)
• Lateral vascular neck restraint.

If you judged OC to be the ³safest² and baton to be ³most injurious² to both officers and offenders, you¹re in agreement with the findings of a new study of force encounters involving officers on a major municipal department.

The study, the first of its kind in Canada, was conducted by S/Sgt. Chris Butler of the Calgary (Alberta) Police Service and Dr. Christine Hall of the Canadian Police Research Center.

They analyzed 562 use-of-force events that occurred across a recent 2-year period as officers effected the arrests of resistant subjects in Calgary, a city of more than 1 million population. The threatened or actual use of firearms were omitted from the review, as were handcuffing, low-level pain compliance techniques like joint locks and pressure points, K-9s, and tactical responses such as chemical agents, flashbangs and less-lethal projectiles.

Here¹s what they discovered:

• OC, used in roughly 5% of force-involved arrests, produced the lowest rate of injury. More than 80% of sprayed subjects sustained no injury whatever. About 15% had only minor injuries (³visible injuries of a trifling nature which did not require medical treatment²) and some 4% had what the researchers termed ³minor outpatient² injuries (some medical treatment required but not hospitalization). No cases resulted in hospitalization or were fatal.

Officers involved in OC use fared even better. They suffered no injury in nearly 89% of cases and only minor damage the rest of the time.

The pepper spray involved was Sabre Red, with 10% oleoresin capsicum.

• Batons, deployed in 5.5% of force-involved arrests, caused the greatest rate of higher-level injury. Fewer than 39% of subjects receiving baton contact remained uninjured. More than 3% were hospitalized and nearly 26% required outpatient treatment, combining to be ³most injurious,² according to the researchers. About 32% of batoned subjects sustained minor injuries requiring no treatment.

Of officers involved in baton incidents, nearly 13% required outpatient treatment. Some 16% sustained minor injury and the rest were uninjured.

In Calgary, the baton used is the Monadnock Autolock expandable with power safety tip.

• Empty-hand controls, applied in 38.5% of the force events, also ranked high for more serious injuries. For purposes of the study, physical controls included ³nerve motor point striking and stunning techniques, grounding techniques such as arm-bar takedowns, and other balance displacement methods.²

Nearly 14% of these subjects required outpatient medical care and about 4% had to be hospitalized. Almost 50% had minor injuries and about 33% remained uninjured.

Among officers, 1% required hospitalization and 4.5% needed outpatient aid. The vast majority (77.8%) were uninjured and nearly 17% had minor injuries.

Judging from these findings, the researchers conclude, agencies need ³to seek out alternatives to hands-on physical control tactics and the baton if they wish to reduce the frequency and seriousness of citizen and police officer injuries.²

• The second safest force mode for suspects proved to be the lateral vascular neck restraint. Used in 3% of force-related arrests, the LVNR left more than half (52.9%) of offenders uninjured. About 41% sustained minor injuries and less than 6% required minor outpatient treatment. There were no hospitalizations and no fatalities.

Officers applying a LVNR remained uninjured more than 76% of the time and those who were hurt suffered only minor injuries.

• Conducted energy weapons also scored high in safety for both suspects and officers. The Taser X26, the CEW issued to Calgary officers, was the most frequently deployed of the 5 force options studied, being used against nearly half (48.2%) of resistant arrestees. About 1% ended up hospitalized, about 12% needed minor outpatient treatment and more than 42% had only minor injuries. Nearly 45% sustained no injuries and there were 0 fatalities.

Of officers using Tasers, about 83% were uninjured and about 13% sustained minor injuries. Only about 2% and 1% required outpatient medical attention or hospitalization respectively.

³The commonly held belief² that CEWs carry ³a significant risk of injury or deathŠis not supported by the data.² Indeed, they are ³less injurious than either the baton or empty-hand physical control,² which often would be alternative options where electronic weapons were not available.

In a 14-page report of their study, Butler and Hall point out that ³[N]o use of force technique available to police officers can be considered Œsafe¹ ² in the dictionary sense that it is free from harm or secure from threat of danger. ³[E]very use of force encounter between the police and a citizen carries with it the possibility for injury for one or all of the participants, however unexpected that injury might be.²

The best that can be hoped for is an appropriate, proportional balance between ³the degree of risk of harm² and the ³resistance faced by police² that requires the use of force.

The public has been fed ³a large amount ofŠincomplete or incorrect information and even intentional artifice² about some force options, the researchers charge. Their study, they say, may help eliminate the resulting confusion. Plus, knowing the level of injury likely to result from a given force method can aid trainers and administrators in developing ³sound policies and practices.²

³This study is a great snapshot about force and its associated injuries and is a valuable addition to the discussion of force issues in Canada and elsewhere,² says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

³Hopefully, the researchers will now be encouraged to probe further into some of the issues they touched on, exploring in greater depth the decision-making that led officers to apply various types of force, the level of emotional and physical intensity generated by subjects receiving the force, the causes of injuries to both officers and subjects, and so on. There is still much to be learned in these areas.²

As part of their study, Hall and Butler compiled statistics on the broad overview of force encounters among Calgary officers, which closely mirror findings regarding U.S. law enforcement.

For instance:

• Out of more than 827,000 police-public interactions, the 562 instances which ended up involving use of force represented less than 1% (.07%) of the total. (Other studies have pegged that figure in the U.S. at 1.5%.)

• Arrests occurred in only 4.6% of police-public interactions, and 98.5% of the time the arrests were finessed without force.

• Roughly 88% of all subjects requiring force were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol or ³some degree of emotional illness.² Almost 94% of resistant offenders requiring force were male.

• The researchers found ³a notable pattern of relationshipŠbetween the number of officers present and the frequency and nature of injuries sustained by both citizens and officers.² Namely: ³[M]ore injuries occurred in circumstances where only one officer was present.²

The researchers state bluntly that ³biased reporting of events has led the lay-public to have the impression that the police use of force is frequent when compared to the overall number of police and public interactions.²

They mentioned also a bias that results in ³extensive media coverage of events where subjects have died² after use of a CEW and a ³lack of publication of CEW uses without an adverse outcome.²

Such skewed reporting ³prevents the publicŠfrom forming an informed opinion about the actual risk presented² by various force modalities, they stated.

The study¹s official jaw-breaking title is: ³Public-Police Interaction and Its Relation to Arrest and Use of Force by Police and Resulting Injuries to Subjects and Officers; a Description of Risk in One Major Canadian Urban City.² It is expected to be posted online in mid- to late-August by the Canadian Police Research Center at www.cprc.org

S/Sgt. Butler can be reached at chris.butler@calgarypolice.ca.
 
Title: AELE
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 06, 2008, 06:13:06 AM
You are welcome to forward this e-mail; please encourage your colleagues to sign up for periodic mailings at http://www.aele.org/e-signup.html
 
1. The November 2008 issue of the AELE Monthly Law Journal is online, with three new articles:
 
* Police Civil Liability
Civil Liability for the Use of Handcuffs
Part II - Use of Force Against Handcuffed Persons
 
Part two discusses cases where force was used on a handcuffed prisoner. http://www.aele.org/law/2008-11MLJ101.html
 
* Discipline and Employment Law
"On-Call Duty"
 
Officers and firefighters who are on-call must wear a pager or mobile phone, and may be required to report for duty, fully sober, in less than an hour. Is that compensable duty time? http://www.aele.org/law/2008-11MLJ201.html
 
* Corrections Law
Staff Use of Force Against Prisoners
Part III: Use of Chemical Weapons
 
Courts have generally upheld the use of chemical weapons in prison riot or disturbance circumstances, but have also clearly indicated that some uses can lead to liability. http://www.aele.org/law/2008-11MLJ301.html
 
2. The November 2008 issues of AELE's three periodicals have been uploaded. The current issues, back issues since 2000 and three 30+ year case summaries are FREE. Everyone is welcome to read, print or download AELE publications without charge.
 
The main menu is at: http://www.aele.org/law
 
Take advantage of our free search engine. The database is more than 25,000 case summaries in police liability, jail & prison legal issues, and discipline & employment law.
 
Among 100+ different cases noted in this month's periodicals, several that warrant mention:
 
*** Law Enforcement Liability Reporter ***
 
* Tasers
 
Federal appeals court upholds multiple uses of Taser against a handcuffed motorist who refused to comply with instructions to stand up and walk to an officer's car. Buckley v. Haddock, #07-10988, 2008 WL 4140297, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 19482 (Unpub. 11th Cir.). http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/unpub/ops/200710988.pdf
 
* Firearms
 
A police officer's decision to fatally shoot a man threatening grocery store clerks with a knife was reasonable.
 
The officers attempted to use non-lethal force to subdue him, but he continued to resist. Gregory v. Zumult, #07-1282, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 20551 (Unpub. 4th Cir.). http://pacer.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinion.pdf/071282.U.pdf
 
*** Fire and Police Personnel Reporter ***
 
* Hairstyle Regulations
 
The New Jersey Dept. of Corrections' training academy's no-facial hair policy was neutral and only incidentally burdened religion. It was rationally related to compliance with federal and state health regulations concerning the use of respirator masks and a concern about the esprit de corps, which comes from uniformity of appearance.
 
Management did not violate the rights of a Muslim trainee who was removed from the training program when he failed, on three separate occasions, to keep his beard within parameters that were allowed to him as an accommodation of his religion. Valdes v. New Jersey, #07-2971, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 17380 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.). http://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/072971np.pdf
 
* Retaliatory Personnel Action
 
Seventh Circuit rejects an action brought by a jailer who claimed that she was fired in retaliation for filing a sexual harassment complaint. She unlawfully tape-recorded her meeting with her superiors. "Title VII does not grant employees license to engage in dubious self-help activities to obtain evidence." Argyropoulos v. City of Alton, #07-1903, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 18330 (7th Cir.).  http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/7th/071903p.pdf
 
*** Jail and Prisoner Law Bulletin ***
 
* Religion
 
The record failed to show how a prison's limit of ten books in a prisoner's cell furthered safety and security interests. The appeals court ordered further proceedings on the prisoner's lawsuit, challenging the removal of 57 books, including the Koran. Warren v. Pennsylvania, #07-3011, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 17395 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.). http://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/073011np.pdf
 
* Strip Searches: Inmates
 
Pre-trial detainees, who were subjected to strip searches as part of the process before being placed into the general jail population, did not suffer a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights, despite the lack of an individualized finding of reasonable suspicion that each of them was concealing weapons, drugs, or other contraband.
 
The appeals court observed that the U.S. Supreme Court has never imposed such a requirement for strip-searching arrestees bound for the general jail population. Powell v. Barrett, #0516734, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 18907 (11th Cir.). http://caselaw.findlaw.com/data2/circs/11th/0516734pv1.pdf
 
3. *** Interrogation ***

In a 21-page document, the Defense Dept. revised its policy on intelligence interrogations, detainee debriefings and tactical questioning. DoD Directive 3115.09 (9 Oct. 2008). Among other things, it limits the role of psychologists advising interrogators. "Behavioral science consultants may not be used to determine detainee phobias for the purpose of exploitation during the interrogation process."
http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/d3115_09.pdf
 

4. *** Articles in other publications ***
 
* Dept. of Justice - C.O.P.S.
"Combat Deployment and the Returning Police Officer" http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/RIC/ResourceDetail.aspx?RID=471.
 
* FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Aug. 2008.
"Speech and the Public Employee"
http://www.fbi.gov/filelink.html?file=/publications/leb/2008/august08leb.pdf
 
* Police Chief, Aug. 2008
"When Does an Employer's Search of Employee Work Areas Violate Privacy Rights?" http://policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=1568&issue_id=82008
 
Conducting research? Learn how to navigate AELE's online library of 26,000+ case digests and 300+ periodicals. http://www.aele.org/navigate.pdf
 

Title: Force Science News
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 14, 2009, 05:50:55 AM
One of the most dangerous positions a suspect can assume on the ground is prone with his hands tucked under his body, either at chest or waist level. What's hidden in those hands? And if it's a gun, how fast can he twist and shoot if you're approaching him?
This month [1/09], the Force Science Research Center, in cooperation with Indiana University and the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, will launch the first study of its kind in an effort to clearly define your risk and, hopefully, identify your best approach tactics in dealing with this common street problem.

The results may also help explain to civilians why officers sometimes react with what may seem like exceptional violence when trying to control a downed offender whose hands are concealed beneath him.

"When a prone suspect resists showing his hands when an officer orders him to or attempts to pry them out, officers become very suspicious and fearful about what his motive is. And justifiably so," says FSRC's executive director, Dr. Bill Lewinski. "FBI research has shown that suspects with concealed weapons most often carry them to the front of their bodies. So, when prone, they may have easy access to a weapon or already be holding one.

"Until the hands are controlled, officers are very vulnerable in this circumstance, and they often use a fairly high level of force to gain control of the hands because of their concern. They may deliver strikes with batons or flashlights that to naive civilians watching a video clip on TV may look like malicious outbreaks of rage and vindictiveness."

Since its beginning more than 4 years ago, FSRC has conducted a series of ground-breaking time-and-motion studies, documenting the amazing speed with which suspects can attack from a variety of positions--turning and shooting while running, drawing and shooting while seated in a vehicle, and so on.

"The prone study is an important extension of this sequence," Lewinski explains, "and is expected to further pinpoint the formidable reactionary curve that officers are behind when attempting to prevent or respond to potentially lethal assaults."
Several months ago Lewinski conducted some rough preliminary testing on prone action times at the FSRC lab at Minnesota State University-Mankato. Role-playing a prone, armed offender with hands tucked under his body, he repeatedly turned to present and fire a gun as if shooting at a contact officer approaching him from the feet or side. A time-coded video camera recorded his movements. (Click here to view a brief video from the pilot study.)

The average time it took him to make his threatening moves was "about one-third of a second," Lewinski says. "This speed would likely be faster than an average cover officer could react and shoot to stop the threat, even if the officer had his gun pointed, his finger on the trigger, and had already made the decision to shoot. In other words, the officer would stand little chance of being able to shoot first."

This convinced Lewinski that the subject was worth a much more in-depth investigation.

The core research will begin Jan. 5 at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, with the assistance there of Erik Walters, public safety training technician.

Four cameras positioned at different angles will film 7 volunteer role-players with different body types moving in a variety of ways to present a gun from under their body and shoot at an approaching officer. "The subjects will be young--reflecting the age demographics of offenders most likely to assault police officers--and agile," Lewinski says. "Agility may play more of a role with suspects who are prone than with those in other shooting postures."

Three of the cameras will be high-speed video units purchased by NWTC with a State of Wisconsin grant to assist with FSRC research. Walters used one of these to record the preliminary tests at Mankato.
The fourth camera is a sophisticated SportsCam, used by high-level athletics coaches and researchers in biomechanics, recently purchased by the Ergonomics Laboratory at Indiana University in Bloomington. This unit can film in color at speeds up to 500 frames per second.

FSRC learned of this equipment through a graduate student, Madeleine Gonin, originally from South Africa, who works in the IU Ergonomics Lab and is pursuing a PhD in human performance and ergonomics. Her master's, however, is in safety management, with a focus on workplace violence. "There's a high level of crime in South Africa, and I want to help find strategies for reducing it," she told Force Science News.

An accomplished martial artist, she became an instructor in the Rape Aggression Defense system after arriving on campus, and through that involvement developed friendships with IU campus police and officers with Bloomington P.D.
As a subject for her PhD dissertation, "I was looking for a program that fitted in with violence prevention," she says. "Some of the officers I knew suggested I get in touch with the Force Science Research Center." She hopes to base her dissertation on the prone action-time research.

Gonin will be in Green Bay, along with Charles Pearce, project director at the IU Ergonomics Lab. To supplement what's filmed there, they will photograph more subjects making more threatening movements on the Indiana campus, using student volunteers, including participants in a cadet program run by the university police department.

Using the Lab's advanced technology, under supervision of director Dr. John Shea, a professor in IU's Department of Kinesiology and Gonin's academic advisor, the researchers intend to convert the photographic images into animated figures.

With cutting-edge software and a link to an immense databank of human forms, they can adjust the figures to as many different height, weight, and strength specifications as they like, and measure the movement times of each in the various action patterns.
"Without a doubt," says Lewinski, "this will be the most thorough and complex analysis of human movement ever performed for law enforcement research."

The initial goal is to nail down action times precisely--just how fast can a prone suspect present a deadly threat. "People tend to underestimate how quickly a human being can actually move," says Gonin. "They also tend to underestimate how slowly officers react when they are under stress and narrowly focused."

Beyond those measurements, the researchers will also be searching for early indicators that could telegraph that a suspect is initiating a dangerous movement. Ideally, this analysis will identify certain cues officers could watch for in prone-suspect situations. "We don't know if we'll be able to find these cues, but we're going to look for them," Lewinski says.

And finally, there may be findings that could affect training and tactics. Does approaching straight-on from a prone suspect's feet, for example, offer the best protective edge against sudden threatening movement, as Lewinski suspects may be the case?

Lewinski estimates it will be a year or more before a final analysis is available, but IU's involvement in the project represents an important breakthrough beyond the critical street knowledge that may result.

"One of our major goals at Force Science is to stimulate interest at universities and other influential institutions in doing research that is of value to line officers," he says. "There has been a huge hole in research into issues that can help street officers perform with improved skill and safety. This is a step toward filling that gap. What a great way to start the New Year!"
Title: Should officers see vids of their encounters?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 17, 2009, 08:01:36 AM
   
I. Should officers see video of their encounters? Force Science states its case

Some months ago, officers responded to a single-car accident on a freeway in a major midwestern city. As they tried to tend to and question the driver, he became unruly and earned himself a Tasering. Later, he died. As customary in that jurisdiction, a state investigative agency took over the death investigation.

And that surfaced a nettlesome conflict.

As part of the report-writing process, the officers' department traditionally permits its personnel to view video from arrest scenes, and it saw no reason that the officers involved shouldn't see recordings of the Tasering before they were interviewed, to stimulate their memories of what occurred. The investigating agency, however, felt strongly that the videos from dash-cams and the Taser should not be seen prior to the officers giving their official statements, lest the viewing color their recollections.

Reports of the controversy motivated a consortium of agencies in Minnesota to probe more deeply into the question that departments large and small throughout the country potentially face: In a major use-of-force situation, which position best contributes to a fair, impartial, and comprehensive investigation?

To see what science might say, the group turned to Dr. Bill Lewinski, director of the Force Science Institute, parent entity of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

In a first-of-its-kind presentation earlier this month [1/09] in St. Paul, Lewinski spent more than 2 hours exploring the pros and cons of the subject, culminating in recommendations that agencies confronting the dilemma may find useful. In the audience were representatives of 9 of Minnesota's largest law enforcement organizations.

MEMORY REALITIES

In St. Paul, Lewinski first reviewed some realities of human memory, as determined by scientific research, including experiments conducted with LEOs by FSRC.

"After a high-stress experience, such as a major force confrontation, an officer's memory of what happened is likely to be fragmentary at best," he explained. "An incident is never completely recorded in memory."

At various times during an incident, the focus of an officer's attention may shift between internal thoughts and concerns to external stimuli, and where his focus is at any given moment will unavoidably influence what he remembers.

"A person's attention is an extremely significant factor in determining what that person perceives and then remembers," Lewinski said. "It would be extremely rare, if not impossible, for an officer involved in a fluid, complex, dynamic, and life-threatening encounter to remember peripheral details beyond that on which he or she was focused.

"The average person will actually miss a large amount of what happened in a stressful event and, of course, will be completely unaware of what they did not pay attention to and commit to memory."

Compounding the problem, a participant or witness "may unintentionally add information in their report that was not actually part of the original incident," Lewinski explained--not in a plot to deceive, necessarily, but in a humanly instinctive effort to fill in frustrating memory gaps.

"Memory is not neatly stored in a single compact file in our brain but is stored in chunks in a variety of neural networks," Lewinski said. "Given this, a variety of stimuli may be necessary to mine the fragments thoroughly."

Cognitive interviewing, which encourages an officer to relive an event with all his senses, can be a highly effective tool. So can a walk-through at the scene and/or review of a video of the action, because these "place the officer back within the context of the incident and thus stimulate his 'recognition recall.'

"An officer's version of an incident will vary, depending on whether his statement is taken before, after, or without a walk-through or a viewing of a videotape of the incident."

Even with the help of stimulation strategies, Lewinski cautioned, there will still be inevitable memory errors, particularly when an officer attempts to recall "information that was on the periphery of his attention during the incident, even if that information later turns out to be very important."

VIDEO LIMITATIONS

Seeing on-scene video, while usually helpful in stimulating an officer's memory, is no panacea, Lewinski stressed.

"A video recording is often considered a thorough and accurate record of the incident because it is rich with information, objective, and unbiased. However, video recordings, regardless of how good the lighting and quality of filming, are never a completely accurate reproduction of any incident."

Among the limitations Lewinski cited:


• "Video cameras generally record only a portion of an incident and are bereft of the context of the event";
• "Video is a 2-dimensional representation of an incident from a particular perspective and tends to distort distance and other associated with depth of field";

• "Generally video does not faithfully record light levels and does not represent what a human being in the incident would perceive";

• "A video does not present the incident as viewed through the officer's eyes";

• "Video cameras recording at less than 10 frames per second can leave out significant aspects of an incident that occur at speeds faster than that."

Despite these limitations, in Lewinski's view, an officer seeing any available video recordings is vital in many cases, if a comprehensive mining of the officer's memory is the goal.

TIMING

A debatable factor is timing.

A "raw" statement taken from an officer without his viewing any video of the incident or experiencing other memory enhancers (like a walk-through) "may be a good record of his 'state of mind' before, during, and after the confrontation," Lewinski said, "but it may not be a thorough, factual representation of what happened."

Indeed, it could be "viewed more as a memory test with potential disciplinary and criminal consequences than a pursuit of the facts of the incident," he said. "Internal Affairs investigators, criminal prosecutors, and plaintiffs' attorneys exploit discrepancies in reports between participants and witnesses, and they can do the same when there is a discrepancy between the officer's report and a videotape.

"The most enriched, complete, and factually accurate version of a high-stress encounter is most likely to occur after a walk-through and/or after the officer has had at least one opportunity to view an available video of the incident."

Ideally, Lewinski believes, a video review should be permitted before an involved officer gives his official statement.

Currently, however, some departments and prosecutors are insistent on obtaining a "pure" statement to document an officer's state of mind regarding the encounter as it evolved, before other stimuli, particularly a video review, are introduced.

Consequently, Lewinski proposed a compromise "middle-of-the-road" position, which at least assures that a video review becomes part of any force investigation early in the game.

COMPROMISE RECOMMENDATION

If an agency is adamant about not showing an officer video prior to a statement being taken, Lewinski suggested that a video review be allowed soon after the interview and that the officer then be re-interviewed or given a chance to write an additional report at that time.

"This offers the officer a chance to comment on what he now understands about the incident compared to what he may have said in his original statement," Lewinski told Force Science News. "This is not perfect, but it does offer a chance for additional mining of the officer's memory and it is far better than having the officer 'ambushed' with the video much later, not having seen it at all.

"Where discrepancies exist, investigators need to be knowledgeable and sensitive enough, in the absence of other incriminating evidence, to explain to the officer, the administration, and the public how an officer's perception of an incident can be vastly different from what's seen on a video recording and still be legitimate."

Whether the video is shown before or after the statement, it is important to "caution the officer on the limited accuracy of video recordings," Lewinski told the group. "An officer who is unaware of the limitations and uncertain about the accuracy of his own memory may be influenced to change an otherwise accurate report."

Lewinski also warned that "officers who have been through an extremely emotionally distressing incident may find a walk-through, a viewing of the video, and the giving of a statement to be too difficult to handle unless they have had some time to decompress." (In previous transmissions, experts quoted in Force Science News have recommended that officers be allowed to rest for up to 48 hours after a critical incident before submitting to extensive interviewing.)

Lewinski told FSN that the representatives at the St. Paul meeting do not intend to formulate a joint policy on the video issue. Rather, they planned to individually evaluate their department's position in light of his information and to help in spreading the word to other agencies.

As a part of his presentation, Lewinski included film clips and other materials from the Institute's popular certification course on Force Science Analysis. During this unique 5-day training program, investigators learn how to assess controversial force encounters with scientific principles of biology, physiology, and psychology in mind, to gain a more accurate picture of the dynamics involved.
 
Title: AELE Monthly Law Journal
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 21, 2009, 04:29:55 PM
In 2008, 37 articles appeared in the AELE Monthly Law Journal; these were the most popular:
 
Jan. 2008: Civil Liability for Use of Deadly Force: Supervisory Liability
http://www.aele.org/law/2008-1MLJ101.html
 
Apr. 2008: Investigative Detention of Employees: Criminal Interviews
http://www.aele.org/law/2008-4MLJ201.html
 
May 2008: Long v. Honolulu Police Sharpshooter Decision
http://www.aele.org/law/2008-5MLJ501.html
 
Aug. 2008: Administrative Investigations of Police Shootings:
Officer Statements and Use of Force Reports (Viewed 9,752 times!)
http://www.aele.org/law/2008-8MLJ201.html
 
Nov. 2008: Staff Use of Force Against Prisoners: Chemical Weapons
http://www.aele.org/law/2008-11MLJ301.html
 
Nov. 2008: Civil Liability: Use of Force Against Handcuffed Persons
http://www.aele.org/law/2008-11MLJ101.html
 
Dec. 2008: Restraint Ties and Asphyxia 
http://www.aele.org/law/2008ALL12/2008-12MLJ101.pdf
 
The list of all articles published in 2007 and 2008 is here:
http://www.aele.org/law/MLJTopics.html
Title: Law Enforcement issues in Nigeria
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 24, 2009, 09:34:13 AM
Nigerian police detain goat over armed robbery
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Digg Facebook Newsvine del.icio.us Reddit StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Bookmarks Print Fri Jan 23, 10:55 am ETLAGOS (Reuters) – Police in Nigeria are holding a goat on suspicion of attempted armed robbery.

Vigilantes took the black and white beast to the police saying it was an armed robber who had used black magic to transform himself into a goat to escape arrest after trying to steal a Mazda 323.

"The group of vigilante men came to report that while they were on patrol they saw some hoodlums attempting to rob a car. They pursued them. However one of them escaped while the other turned into a goat," Kwara state police spokesman Tunde Mohammed told Reuters by telephone.

"We cannot confirm the story, but the goat is in our custody. We cannot base our information on something mystical. It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat," he said.

Belief in witchcraft is widespread in parts of Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation. Residents came to the police station to see the goat, photographed in one national newspaper on its knees next to a pile of straw.

(Reporting by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Katie Nguyen)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090123/od_uk_nm/oukoe_uk_nigeria_robbery_goat;_ylt=Aspdod2Pkrg1xUA3qgiL5nXtiBIF

Title: Shrewd detective work!!!
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 27, 2009, 09:47:29 AM
Teen Impersonator Completes Shift with Real Officer Before Being Discovered
7,206 Views 272 Comments Share Flag as inappropriate  Chicago Tribune via YellowBrix

January 26, 2009

CHICAGO – Chicago police arrested a 14-year-old boy for allegedly impersonating one of their own Saturday.

The boy, who has been charged as a juvenile for impersonating an officer, walked into the Grand Crossing District station, 7040 S. Cottage Grove Ave., dressed in a Chicago police uniform, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. The boy, who reported for duty about 1:30 p.m., partnered with another police officer for about five hours.

The boy identified himself as an officer from another district but was detailed for the day to Grand Crossing and also was savvy enough to sign out a police radio and a ticket book, according to a source. The source also said the boy went on traffic stops with the officer he went on the street with.

Bond said the boy “did not write tickets” and said there was “no information to indicate that he [was] ever behind the wheel.”

At an afternoon news conference, police said the boy had no interaction with the public.

After his tour was over, a ranking officer became suspicious of the boy. Police said the officer discovered the teen was not a real police officer when he couldn’t produce any credentials. The boy was wearing police-issued pants, shirt, vest, sweater and skull cap, police said.  He was missing his police star, but that was not discovered until after he returned from traffic patrol. Police said the 14-year-old’s partner on the traffic assignment did not recognize the boy was underage. The source said the boy had an empty holster and a newspaper in place of a ballistic vest in his vest carrier.  Police described the boy as a former “police explorer,” which means he was part of a community program run through the Police Department’s Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) that allows youths to interact with Chicago police officers. He was part of the explorer program in 2008 in the Englewood District.

“The boy was not armed, and the matter is under investigation with Internal Affairs,” Bond said.

Bond also said that how the boy acquired the police uniform was under investigation. Police officers need to present identification while acquiring their uniforms, police said.

The boy “has identified an egregious breach in security,” Deputy Supt. of Patrol Dan Dugan said.

The boy, whom authorities did not identify since he’s a juvenile, is scheduled to appear in Juvenile Court at 10 a.m. Monday.

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on January 27, 2009, 09:58:38 AM
Wow....   :-o
Title: Swatting
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 02, 2009, 10:27:34 AM
 SWAT teams deployed in 911 fraud

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AP IMPACT: SWAT teams deployed in 911 fraud (AP)

Posted on Mon Feb 2, 2009 2:00AM EST

- Doug Bates and his wife, Stacey, were in bed around 10 p.m., their 2-year-old daughters asleep in a nearby room. Suddenly they were shaken awake by the wail of police sirens and the rumble of a helicopter above their suburban Southern California home. A criminal must be on the loose, they thought.

Doug Bates got up to lock the doors and grabbed a knife. A beam from a flashlight hit him. He peeked into the backyard. A swarm of police, assault rifles drawn, ordered him out of the house. Bates emerged, frightened and with the knife in his hand, as his wife frantically dialed 911. They were handcuffed and ordered to the ground while officers stormed the house.

The scene of mayhem and carnage the officers expected was nowhere to be found. Neither the Bateses nor the officers knew that they were pawns in a dangerous game being played 1,200 miles away by a teenager bent on terrifying a random family of strangers.

They were victims of a new kind of telephone fraud that exploits a weakness in the way the 911 system handles calls from Internet-based phone services. The attacks — called "swatting" because armed police SWAT teams usually respond — are virtually unstoppable, and an Associated Press investigation found that budget-strapped 911 centers are essentially defenseless without an overhaul of their computer systems.

The AP examined hundreds of pages of court documents and law-enforcement transcripts, listened to audio of "swatting" calls, and interviewed two dozen security experts, investigators, defense lawyers, victims and perpetrators.
While Doug and Stacey Bates were cuffed on the ground that night in March 2007, 18-year-old Randal Ellis, living with his parents in Mukilteo, Wash., was nearly finished with the 27-minute yarn about a drug-fueled murder that brought the Orange County Sheriff's Department SWAT team to the Bateses' home.

In a grisly sounding call to 911, Ellis was putting an Internet-based phone service for the hearing-impaired to nefarious use. By entering bogus information about his location, Ellis was able to make it seem to the 911 operator as if he was calling from inside the Bateses' home. He said he was high on drugs and had just shot his sister.

According to prosecutors, Ellis picked the Bates family at random, as he did with all of the 185 calls investigators say he made to 911 operators around the country.

"If I would have had a gun in my hand, I probably would have been shot," said Doug Bates, 38. Last March, Ellis was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to five felony counts, including computer access and fraud, false imprisonment by violence and falsely reporting a crime.

In a separate, multistate case prosecuted by federal authorities in Dallas, eight people were charged with orchestrating up to 300 "swatting" calls to victims they met on telephone party chat lines. The three ringleaders were each sentenced to five years in prison. Two others were sentenced to 2 1/2 years. One defendant pleaded guilty last week and could get a 13-year sentence. The remaining two are set to go on trial in February.

A similar case was reported in Salinas, Calif., where officers surrounded an apartment where a call had come in claiming men with assault rifles were trying to break in. In Hiawatha, Iowa, fake calls about a workplace shooting included realistic gunshot sounds and moaning in the background.

In November, a teenage hacker from Worcester, Mass., pleaded guilty to a five-month swatting spree including a bomb threat and report of an armed gunman that caused two schools to be evacuated.

Many times, however, swats don't get fully investigated or reported.
Orange County Sheriff's detective Brian Sims spent weeks serving search warrants on Internet providers before he identified Ellis through his numeric computer identifier, known as an IP address.
Law enforcement hopes lengthy prison terms will deter would-be swatters. Technology alone isn't enough to stop the crimes.

Unlike calls that come from landline phones, which are registered to a fixed physical address and display that on 911 dispatchers' screens, calls coming from people's computers, or even calls from landline or cell phones that are routed through spoofing services, could appear to be originating from anywhere.

Scores of Caller ID spoofing services have sprung up, offering to disguise callers' origins for a fee. All anybody needs to do is pony up for a certain number of minutes, punch in a PIN code and specify whom they're calling and what they'd like the Caller ID to display.

Spoofing Caller ID is perfectly legal. Legitimate businesses use the technology to project a single callback number for an entire office, or to let executives working from home cloak their home numbers when making outgoing calls.

At the same time, criminals have latched onto the technique to get revenge on rivals or get their kicks by harassing strangers.
"We're not able to cope with this very well," said Roger Hixson, technical issues director for the National Emergency Number Association, the 911 system's industry group. "We're just hoping this doesn't become a widespread hobby."

The 911 system was built on the idea it could trust the information it was receiving from callers. Upgrading the system to accommodate new technologies can be a huge task.

Gary Allen, editor of Dispatch Monthly, a Berkeley, Calif.-based magazine focused on public-safety communications centers, said dispatchers are "totally at the mercy of the people who call" and the fact they don't have technology to identify which incoming calls are from Internet-based sources.

Allen said upgrading the communications centers' computers to flash an Internet caller's IP address could be helpful in thwarting fraudulent calls. He said an even simpler fix, tweaking the computers to identify calls from Internet telephone services and flash the name of the service provider to dispatchers, can cost under $5,000, but is usually still too costly for many communications centers.

But because this style of fraudulent calls is so new, and many emergency-dispatch centers receive few Internet calls in the first place, those upgrades are not frequently done.

Swatting calls place an immense strain on responding departments. The Orange County Sheriff's Department deployed about 30 people to the Bateses' home, including a SWAT team, a helicopter and K-9 units. It cost the department $14,700.

They take their toll on victims, too.
Tony Messina, a construction worker from Salina, N.Y., was swatted three times by the gang broken up by the federal authorities in Dallas. He was even arrested as the result of one call, because authorities found weapons he wasn't supposed to have while they were searching the house.

Messina had made some enemies on a party line he frequented to flirt with women. Some guys disliked him and out of jealousy, he says, they started swatting him.
The first time, he was home alone with his two poodles when officers swarmed his backyard at 6 a.m. According to Messina, the callers said he had "killed a hooker and sliced her ear to ear, blood all over the place, I'm doing drugs and if you police come over here I'm going to kill you, too." After a few hours at the police station, he was let go.

Two weeks later, he was detained outside his house. A month later, he was in bed watching TV when he saw someone with a flashlight at his window. He went outside and was handcuffed while deputies searched his house and car.

Messina had been told to call 911 himself if the swatting calls happened again, and when the deputies realized it was another fraudulent call, Messina was let go. He said he suffered bruised ribs that kept him out of work for a month and a half.

Investigators say swatters are usually motivated by a mixture of ego and malice, a desire for revenge and domination over rivals.

Jason Trowbridge, one of the defendants currently serving a five-year sentence, told the AP in a series of letters from prison that the attacks started with the standard fare of prank callers — sending pizzas and locksmiths to victims' homes — escalated to shutting the power and water off and eventually led to swatting.

"Nobody ever thought anyone would get hurt or die from a SWAT call," he said.
___ Associated Press researcher Barbara Sambriski in New York contributed to this report.

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/200902...ec911_swatting
Title: Flawed Study
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 02, 2009, 12:51:54 PM
Second post of the day

I. "Excessive force" study gravely flawed, says Force Science Research Center

Strong skepticism has been expressed by the Force Science Research Center regarding a recently publicized survey showing that a high percentage of emergency room doctors believe they see evidence of police brutality in the patients they treat.

The poll, published in Emergency Medicine Journal, reports that 99.8% of ER physicians responding to a random-sample survey believe that excessive use of force by police "actually occurs" and that 97.8% say they have managed patients they suspect were victims of excessive force.

The survey, conducted by a research team of 6 MDs, including faculty members at some of the nation's leading medical schools, has received coverage in a wide variety of professional publications, as well as the mass media, under headlines such as: "Excessive Police Violence Evident in Emergency Room Cases, U.S. Docs Say." A description of the report and directions for purchasing a full copy can be accessed by clicking here.

If you are confronted with this study in dialog with civilians or challenged with it in a courtroom, Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of FSRC at Minnesota State University-Mankato, argues emphatically that there are more than adequate grounds for countering it.
"The survey's methods appear to conform to academic standards," Lewinski told Force Science News, "but the results are meaningless. It's impossible for ER physicians to know the context of injuries just by looking at them. The nature of an injury is totally unrelated to the justification for the level of force responsible for it.

"In essence, this survey is of little use or benefit to society, and it tends to malign law enforcement unjustly and unscientifically."
The researchers' findings were based on mailed responses from 315 full-time academic ER doctors associated with emergency medicine residency training programs in the U.S. The vast majority were Caucasian males between 30-50 years old, board-certified in emergency medicine, practicing in cities of 250,000 to more than 1,000,000 population, and affiliated with university, community, or public teaching hospitals.

The 97.8% who believe they have treated victims of police brutality made this determination based on their own suspicions or on what they were told by the patients themselves, the study states. About 65% said they recognized 2 or more cases of "suspected excessive use of force per year." Some 7% believe excessive force occurs "often" or "very often," while only a tiny fraction of 1% (0.2%) believe it never occurs.

As to the types of excesses suspected, 95.5% of the responders cited "blunt trauma," 95.2% "fists and feet," 73.1% "handcuffs too tight," 48.6% "night sticks," and 26.9% "flashlights." In short, the researchers conclude, "The suspicion of excessive use of force by law enforcement officers is clearly an issue encountered" by emergency room physicians.

The very last line of study report acknowledges what Lewinski points out is the "fatal flaw" of this research. The survey questions, the authors concede, "asked respondents to make a subjective judgment, most often without objective evidence; as such, this study reflects EPs' [emergency physicians'] perceptions of events rather than what actually happened."

This is the limitation, Lewinski says, that renders the study meaningless.

"First of all," he notes, "relying on suspects to accurately report whether they have experienced excessive force or not is absurd. In the 40 years I have been involved with law enforcement, I've never known a suspect who was injured by police to say, 'Oh, yes, I received just the right amount of force that was necessary to control my resistance.'

"Moreover, one has to ask what else the surveyed physicians were basing their suspicions on. Other than what a patient or an officer says, a doctor in the ER has no knowledge of the context in which force was used or how it relates to policy, procedure, training, or the law. "Depending on the circumstances, police can use force that results in injuries up to and including death and not have that force considered by law to be excessive. A doctor who's unfamiliar with all the elements involved simply can't use the extent or nature of injury as a basis for judging whether force was appropriate.

"It is fair to say that most ER physicians have never ridden in a squad car and seen first-hand the kinds of force situations officers are thrust into. Most have no information or training on what constitutes excessive force. Yet in their responses to this survey, they are making judgments on a professional activity they really know nothing about.

"That's ironic when you consider how sensitive doctors are as a group to any outsiders second-guessing their professional decisions!
"All this study really tells us is that ER physicians sometimes have suspicions based wholly on non-scientific data that excessive force was used. To report this as a serious finding is misleading to the public and smears, by implication, the professional integrity of law enforcement officers throughout the country."

Among the doctors surveyed, roughly 70% thought "it is within their scope of practice to refer cases of suspected use of excessive force for investigation," although more than 70% said they do not currently report their suspicions. About half believe that such reporting by ER physicians "should be legally required," as is the case with suspicions of child abuse, sexual assaults, weapons wounds, etc.

"Assessing police use-of-force injuries is significantly and qualitatively different from any other area they're required to report on," Lewinski notes. Nonetheless, voicing a suspicion of his own, he speculates that this survey will be used to encourage legislation for mandatory reporting by ER personnel of suspected police brutality.

[Our thanks to Chris Lawrence, a member of FSRC's national advisory board, for tipping us about this survey.]
Title: Chicago case
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 13, 2009, 08:56:59 AM
'I had no choice,' says Ill. cop who shot unarmed, naked suspect
By Steve Schmadeke
Chicago Tribune


CHICAGO — Inside an ambulance moments after fatally shooting a naked Glen Ellyn college student, Officer Jason Bradley began to cry, telling the deputy police chief: "I had to do it -- I had no choice."

Bradley, now 27 and a state trooper, was responding to a domestic battery call in 2006 at the Iron Gate apartments that he says escalated into a fistfight in which Benjamin Uwumarogie straddled him and repeatedly struck him in the face. The officer drew his weapon and shot the father of two once in the head.


Tuesday marked the second day of a civil trial in the federal wrongful-death lawsuit brought by Uwumarogie's father, Sunday, principal of Eugene Field Elementary School in Chicago. The family's attorneys argue the shooting was unjustified.

Bradley said he first tried to restrain Uwumarogie, eventually spraying him five times in the face with pepper spray after the College of DuPage football player, 22, refused to stop.

"He was almost looking right through me. ... I had a gut instinct that something was wrong," Bradley testified.

Iron Gate property manager Rick Olsen watched through the apartment's open front door as the two grappled in a narrow hallway.

"He lunged at the police officer, grabbed him by the arms and pushed him back to the bedroom," he said. "A few seconds later, I heard a shot."

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Copyright 2009 Chicago Tribune
Title: When civilians shoot and when they think LEOs should
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 02, 2009, 07:44:50 PM
. New study: When civilians would shoot...and when they think you should

Fascinating experiments by 2 California researchers show that young civilians who might someday be on an OIS jury overwhelmingly disagree with veteran officers about when police are justified in shooting armed, threatening perpetrators.

Interestingly, tests also reveal that when facing shoot/don't shoot decisions of their own, civilians tend to be quick on the trigger--and often wrong in their perceptions. Even in ideal lighting conditions, civilian test subjects show "a very low capacity for distinguishing" a handgun from an innocuous object, such as a power tool. Forced to make a time-pressured decision, the vast majority would shoot a "suspect" who is, in fact, unarmed.

"On one hand," says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato, "this research should make civilians more sympathetic to officers who mistakenly shoot unarmed subjects under high-stress, real-world conditions.

"But on the other hand, the study shows the woeful lack of understanding most non-cops have about the larger legality and appropriateness of using deadly force. And this can result in serious ramifications in the courtroom."

The findings, by Dr. Matthew Sharps, an expert on eye-witness identification and a psychology professor at California State University-Fresno, and Adam Hess, a lecturer in criminology at the school, are reported in The Forensic Examiner [12/22/08], published by the American College of Forensic Examiners. Their paper, "To shoot or not to shoot: Response and interpretation of response to armed assailants," can be read in full by clicking here.

In their experiments, Sharps and Hess report, they first addressed "how untrained people would react if placed in the position of police officers confronting a situation potentially involving firearms and firearm violence."

Eighty-seven female and 38 male college student volunteers of various races were each shown 1 of 4 high-quality digital photos of simulated "crime scenes." The settings were stage-set with the guidance of veteran FTOs from the Fresno PD, "all highly experienced in tactical realities and the sorts of situations encountered by witnesses and officers on the street."

Three photos showed a lone M/W subject, holding a Beretta 9mm pistol in profile: one depicted a "simple" scene, "sparse in terms of potentially distracting objects"; another a "complex" scene, "including street clutter, garbage cans, and other potentially distracting items"; the third a complex scene that included several bystanders and a young, female "victim" being threatened by the armed perpetrator pointing the gun at her in a 1-handed grip.

In a fourth photo, the scene was the same as the third--except that the Beretta was replaced with a power screwdriver.

Before any pictures were shown, each volunteer was told that a scene "which may or may not involve a crime or sources of danger" would be flashed for 2 seconds or less on a movie screen. "You may intervene" by shooting at the perpetrator "to protect yourself or others if you see an individual holding a weapon," the researchers explained. Participants could "shoot" either by pressing a button or by firing a suction-tipped dart from a toy gun.

"The conditions for all 4 scenes involved uniformly excellent lighting (strong sunlight), and the relative comfort of witnesses being seated," Sharps and Hess write. "There was no movement or occlusion of important elements of the scenes, and of course there was no personal danger for the respondents in the experiment."

The smallest number of individuals decided to shoot at the lone subject holding a gun in the simple environment with no victim. Yet "even under these circumstances, in which no crime was depicted," a strong majority--64%--decided to fire. This despite the fact that the "perpetrator" as depicted could have as easily been target-shooting as committing a crime, the researchers note.

In the complex but victimless scene, 67% chose to shoot. When a victim and bystanders were added, the proportion of shooters rose significantly, to 88%--nearly 9 out of 10.

But most revealingly, when the suspect pointed a power screwdriver instead of a gun, some 85% "shot" him. "In other words," Sharps and Hess write, "respondents were equally likely to shoot the perpetrator whether he was armed or unarmed, as long as there was a potential 'victim' in the scene. It made no [statistically significant] difference whether the perpetrator held a gun or a power tool."

Across the range of scenes, "when untrained people...'confronted' a suspect, the majority decided to shoot him under all conditions....[The] very high number of those who decided to shoot the unarmed suspect under ideal conditions might be inflated even further under the rapidly changing and visually confusing circumstances of a typical police emergency."

The challenge the volunteers faced in distinguishing between the gun and the power tool was relatively easy, compared to officers making split-second decisions in the field. Cops frequently have to employ "rapid cognitive processing" in darkness or semidarkness, often deciding in less than a second whether to shoot, the researchers observe.

"During that time, many factors in a scene must be evaluated: the suspect's motions; where the weapon is aimed; the presence of other people, including other potential suspects, and whether they are in the officer's probable field of fire; other potential sources of hazard, to self, to others, and to the suspect, in the immediate environment....

"In view of these extensive processing demands, errors in perception or cognitive processing are likely to be relatively frequent....

"[E]xtraordinary demands are placed on the cognitive and perceptual abilities of police officers in cases of gun violence. Public perception of these incidents, however, typically does not center on the cognitive or perceptual issues involved."

Instead, officers' errors in shooting suspects brandishing innocuous objects rather than guns are "attributed, in many sources, to racism...and failures of integrity." It seems "incomprehensible, to many people, that officers could possibly mistake a [non-weapon] for a real firearm in the dark."

Among several instances the researchers cite in which officers have been pilloried by the press and public for mistaken perceptions is the infamous case of Amadou Diallo, who was shot and killed by NYPD personnel in 1999 when he abruptly pulled a black wallet from his pocket during a confrontation. More recently, a subject was shot dead in Tacoma, WA, when he pointed a small, black cordless drill directly at officers.

"It should be noted that the situation in which most people [in the experiment] effectively decided to kill an unarmed suspect was similar to the circumstances surrounding" these 2 cases, the researchers state.

The intensely negative reactions of civilians toward officers involved in such incidents may, in reality, "have more to do with highly unrealistic public and mass-media expectations, and with popular ideas about deadly force, than with putative racism or integrity issues on the part of police," Sharps and Hess suggest.

A disturbing insight into the public mind-set regarding police use of deadly force surfaced through a companion experiment conducted by the research team.

Again using digital photography projected onto a screen, 33 females and 11 males recruited from freshman psychology classes were asked to view scenes in which a male or female Caucasian perpetrator, positioned "among typical street clutter," pointed a pistol in a 1-handed grip at a young, female "victim."

After viewing the scene for a full 5 seconds ("far more than ample observation and processing time"), each subject was asked "what a police officer should do on encountering the situation depicted"...and why.

Previously, 3 senior FTOs and a senior police commander had evaluated the proper police response. All concluded that "there was no question that this situation absolutely required a shooting response for both the male and female perpetrator.... [A]ny police officer encountering this situation must fire [immediately] on the perpetrator...in order to prevent the probable imminent death of the victim."

To the researchers' surprise, the civilian volunteers overwhelmingly rated this a no-shoot situation. Only 11.36%--roughly 1 out of 10--"felt that a shooting response was called for," the researchers report. "[A]pproximately 9 out of 10...were of the opinion that an officer should not fire...although all of the senior police officers consulted stated that the situation depicted absolutely required a shooting response.

"This result may have important implications for situations in which 12-person juries must evaluate a given police shooting....In any given, randomly selected jury of 12 citizens, these results suggest that on average, 1 or at most 2 jurors out of 12 would be likely to see an officer on trial in an officer-involved shooting situation as justified in shooting a perpetrator, even under the clearest and most appropriate of circumstances."

Sharps and Hess want to conduct further research before drawing any solid gender conclusions. However, "no male respondent felt that a shooting response was justified with a female perpetrator," and only 1 in 16 female respondents favored shooting the male gunman.

The reasons the respondents gave overall for their negative views on shooting graphically illustrate the cop-civilian disconnect. Some thought the suspect wouldn't really fire because of "the daylight, public conditions of the situation." Others "concocted elaborate rules of engagement" under which an officer might shoot: if the suspect fired first, or if the suspect had already committed murder, or if the officer had first tried to "convince" the suspect to drop the gun.

Still others "literally invoked the need for clairvoyance on the part of the police, saying that an officer should not fire...because the suspect 'did not look like she wanted to kill.' Several qualified their responses with the idea that if the police had to fire, they should shoot the perpetrator's leg or arm, because...'a shot to the leg is relatively harmless....' "

The researchers speculate that "many of these unrealistic responses may have derived from confusion of media depictions of police work with the real thing on the part of the public...and probably from unrealistic expectations concerning the workings and capabilities of the human nervous system...."

They conclude: "f these ideas and attitudes are as widespread as the results of this initial research effort suggest, there is substantial need for better education in the realities of crime and police work for the public from which, of course, all jurors are selected....This extreme discrepancy between public perception and actual police policy and operations warrants further attention, both in future research and in the modern criminal justice system....

"t is clear that these [findings] assume special significance for the real-world courtroom circumstances under which actual witnesses, jurors, and public constituencies consider and testify as to the actions of law enforcement personnel in application to real-world violent crime."

"Although this research is a welcome first step in helping to bridge the gap of understanding between many civilians and law enforcement, it's important to remember that the exploration doesn't stop here," says Dr. Lewinski. "Force Science Research Center Advisor Tom Aveni's work on contextual cues makes clear that in order to facilitate a more thorough understanding of these issues, this study should expand beyond static settings and expand into fluid and dynamic scenarios that better reflect issues of threat recognition and response in regard to human movement. Although we're supportive of and grateful for the work that's been done to date, we're hopeful that the focus will move in this direction."

[Our thanks to Wayne Schmidt, executive director of Americans for Effective Law Enforcement, for alerting us to this study. Reminder: register now for AELE's unique workshop on Lethal and Less-Lethal Force, Mar. 9-11 or Oct. 26-28 in Las Vegas. Go to www.aele.org for more information and online sign-up.]
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on March 04, 2009, 04:01:19 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17790886/

Not as easy as you'd think.
Title: World's 10 most dangerous cities
Post by: DougMacG on March 16, 2009, 10:08:42 AM
http://www.realclearworld.com/lists/most_dangerous_cities/most_dangerous_cities_intro.html

10.London - knife related violence
9. Saskatoon - aggravated assault and robbery
8. Norilsk - pollution, life expectancy 40, no living tree within 30 miles
7. Johannesburg - theft, robbery and violence
6. Rio de Janeiro - violent gun crime, assassinations and drug-trafficking
5. Detroit - violent crime, property crime, most notably rampant arson and car theft
4. Caracas - homicide rate doubled under Chavez, 'Murder Capital of the World'
3. Linfen - dirtiest air in the world
2. Ciudad Juarez - epicenter of rival drug cartels, smugglers, kidnappers and criminals
1. Mogadishu - gun battles between rival militias and tribal factions
Title: Oakland Mourns
Post by: rachelg on March 28, 2009, 05:54:55 AM
http://www.salon.com/opinion/kamiya/2009/03/28/oakland_police/print.html

Oakland mourns
A long blue line of police officers, backed by a grieving city, gather to say goodbye to four cops who died doing their jobs.

By Gary Kamiya

Mar. 28, 2009 |

I first saw them as I turned from the Bay Bridge onto Highway 980, an endless line of police cars with their emergency flashers on, heading south. They were from Sacramento and Elk Grove, and each car was full of policemen in dress uniform. Soon they were joined by more police cars, from Napa and San Mateo and San Francisco, other places too, a thin blue line moving slowly toward the Oracle Arena, all on their way to pay tribute to four of their Oakland brothers who had been shot down in the line of duty.

The funeral was scheduled to start at 11 a.m., but by ten a.m. the arena's huge parking lot was almost full of cars. There were thousands of police cars, more than anyone had ever seen. The line of policemen standing solemnly in line, waiting to get into the arena, stretched on for hundreds of yards. They had come from all over, policemen and firemen and federal police and public safety officers from California and New York and even Canada, and they were joined by hundreds of citizens of all ages and races who stood under the sun in line for more than an hour to pay their respects to four men who died trying to protect them.

On an overpass near the arena stood a working-class black family, a man and his wife and their boy. The woman was holding a little white dog and the kid had two paper Oakland Police badges pinned to his shirt, and they were waving to the police and thanking them. The police waved back at them and smiled.

It was a glorious spring California day. You could see the East Bay hills in the distance. To the north was downtown Oakland and Kaiser Hospital, where I was born. If you were flying overhead you'd come to Lake Merritt, where I lived for years, with its great Chicago-style buildings and its unique mix of black and white folks strolling around the lake on nice days. If you turned south and east you'd come after a few miles to East Oakland, one of the poorest and most dangerous ghettoes in the United States, where at the corner of 74th and MacArthur, on Saturday, March 21, a 26-year-old convicted felon and parolee named Lovelle Mixon shot to death two motorcycle cops, Sgt. Mark Dunakin and Officer John Hege during a routine traffic stop, then fled to his sister's house, hid in a closet with an assault rifle and killed Sgt. Ervin Romans and Sgt. Daniel Sakai when they and other SWAT team officers stormed the room.

From 74th Avenue and MacArthur to the Oracle Arena is only a few miles, but on Friday the two places might as well have been in different universes.

The four officers' murders stunned and saddened the broad Bay Area community, but there had been a few discordant notes. There's long been tension between the Oakland Police and the city's low-income black community, as in most other big cities. It was inflamed most recently by the New Year's Day killing of unarmed Oakland resident Oscar Grant, who was shot by BART police, not Oakland cops. Despite this tense background, most Oakland residents of every race and class were horrified by the killings, but there were a few examples of callousness and cruelty. The Associated Press reported that about 20 residents taunted police when they came to retrieve their fallen comrades in East Oakland on Saturday. The irrelevant resistance group Uhuru House even held a poorly attended rally Wednesday to defend Lovelle Mixon and criticize the police who killed him.

Friday was the day the rest of Oakland spoke for itself. Waiting in line to enter the Arena, I found myself next to a bunch of middle-aged and older men and women in motorcycle gear -- black leather jackets, badges, leather caps. They looked like respectable, aging Hell's Angel's -- law-abiding but still formidable. I asked the big, bald-headed, muscular guy next to me what the group was."We're the Patriot Guards," he explained. "It's a motorcycle group, made up mostly of ex-vets who go to funerals and homecomings of veterans, policemen and firemen." The big guy's name was Jay Cobb and he was a law enforcement officer at the Lawrence Livermore Lab. He had known one of the slain cops, Mark Dunakin, had played football with him, and had come with a bunch of his colleagues to pay his respects. He said that on the way in, people were lined up on overpasses showing their support.

Next to him was a friendly older couple, 68-year-old Larry Tyler and his wife Cleola from Pleasanton. "We came to honor the police and represent my son who's a fellow law enforcement officer, in Austin, Texas," said Larry Tyler. "It was the right thing to do," said Cleola Tyler. "When you think he's putting his life on the line every day, you want to support those who do the same thing, whether you know them or not. It's kind of a special group." "We wanted to be here, be part of the community," said Larry.

As we neared the Arena, a group of San Francisco cops was standing. To my discomfiture, I recognized one of the few truly terrible cops I've run into in this town, a little guy with a major authoritarian complex who almost arrested me when I was outside the ballpark with my 19-year-old son and was trying to unload, below face value, an extra Giants' ticket. When I apologized for my indiscretion and started to walk off, he snarled,"Did I tell you you could leave?" and summoned other officers over for backup against the ferocious 54-year-old writer. The other cops looked embarrassed -- I got the impression they'd seen his act before. As he ran a computer check on me, I put my hands in my pockets. He practically pulled his gun on me. "Did I tell you you could put your hands in your pockets?" he spat out.

Luckily he disappeared in the crowd and I never saw him again. Every profession has people who should not be in it, and he was definitely one of them. I didn't want even to think about him on this day. This was a day to honor the men and women who do one of the toughest jobs in the world and mostly do it pretty damn well, and who sometimes die doing their jobs.

I approached another group of San Francisco police standing by the entrance. A woman cop didn't want to talk, but the kindly looking man next to her did. He was Capt. Al Casciato, the 59-year-old head of the Northern Station in what used to be one of San Francisco's roughest neighborhoods, the Western Addition. He was a 38-year veteran of the force. I asked him how many S.F. cops had come over to Oakland. "We have 400 or 500," he said. How many police were there in the whole SFPD? "Nineteen hundred,"  he said. Who was minding the store in The City with a quarter of the force out? He explained that a lot of the officers had come on their off-shifts, on their own time.

I asked Capt. Casciato what this event meant to him. "It's a tragic event, but i's also a time for healing," he said. "It's a time for people to come together." Did he have any thoughts about the four policemen he was honoring? "The officers who died will be forever young and forever on their jobs," he said. "That's what they said about the soldiers who died on Omaha Beach, and that's true of anyone who dies in the line of duty."

Capt. Casciato said that the SF police were extremely gratified by the support people had shown them. "We were doing a demonstration yesterday, and my officers told me that so many people were coming up and saying, 'We appreciate what you do.' It does a lot for morale. We really appreciate the support of the public, every time that someone tells us what their feelings are."

Inside, the vast space where the Golden State Warriors play their home games was filled with cops, a huge rectangle of blue in the center seats, blue everywhere you looked. An organ was playing. Dozens of big bouquets of flowers were on display. A slide show showing scenes from the lives of the four officers was showing on an overhead screen. On stage, the dignitaries waited to speak -- Cal. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Attorney General Jerry Brown, Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, and others.

Suddenly a voice cracked out. "Officers, atten-HUT!" Every one of the thousands of officers present sprang to attention. No one moved or spoke for two minutes. Then the voice cracked, "Officers, present arms!" Instantly, 10,000 arms saluted, and they held that salute for a long, long time. A bagpipe and drum band began to play, as one by one the four flag-draped coffins were brought out. The policemen stood saluting as the coffins were set down, as the families of the slain officers were guided to their seats. A crumpled-looking woman was supported from both sides, an image of grief as ancient as the world. From my seat in the nosebleed section, a couple of sections over to my left, I saw an odd figure in bright crimson, standing rigidly and saluting. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The Mounties had come down from the north to pay their respects.

I was at the delirious, sold-out Arena when the "We Believe" Warriors smashed the Jazz in the playoffs, when Baron Davis posterized Andrei Kirilenko with a dunk so savage and unexpected that no one who saw it can quite believe that it happened. But that electric current was nothing compared to the one that ran through the building when those 10,000 men and women in uniform stood and saluted.

The Oakland Police Department Chaplain, Father Jayson Landeza, then spoke. His face filled with compassion, he said we had gathered "with heartfelt sadness, yet with a sense of hope, to honor our fallen brothers," that everyone present "longed for the day when violence will be no more." A choir sang the national anthem. Father Landeza said a brief prayer, then read a message he had received that morning from the White House. President Obama struck a Lincolnesque note, saying that the loss of the four men "reminds us that the work to which they dedicated their lives remains undone." In closing, he said of the four officers, "We will always carry them in our hearts."

I will not dwell long on the speeches by the assembled politicians. They were suitable, dignified, and moving. But at times like these, Abraham Lincoln's words at Gettysburg are apt: "The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here."

The speeches that did stay in the mind were given by the fallen policemen's comrades. Perhaps the most powerful was given by Oakland Police Department Capt. Ed Tracey, who commanded both the SWAT and the traffic units. Tracey is one of those leaders who instantly commands respect, who blends toughness, compassion and consummate professionalism in a way that epitomizes a good cop. Thanking all of the law enforcement people who had attended, he said, "A senseless act of violence against any one of us is truly a senseless act of violence against all of us."

"We must not allow the selfish and cowardly acts of a criminal to taint the memories of these policemen,"Tracey said. He praised the slain officers for doing their duty in "protecting the citizens of the city." He urged his fellow police not to despair: "Allow their lives to lead you forward, not to take you back." His voice breaking, Tracey told his SWAT team, "I'm so proud of you all and I''m humbled by your courage." Of the fallen members of his traffic team, he said, "Physically, they will not ride with us," but they would always be there, keeping the ranks tight: "I love you guys."

Tracey closed by thanking the citizen who, risking his or her life, called in with information about where the murderer was hiding. And as the audience erupted in applause, he praised the other citizen who performed CPR on the dead and dying officers. "You showed us that these men did not die in vain."

Just as moving was the tribute paid by Lieutenant Anthony Banks, who was Mark Dunakin's superior and rode with him in the traffic division. Banks, who is African-American, described how Dunakin took his place and seemed to be in a hurry to move him out. "Can I at least have my last 30 days in peace?" Banks recalled thinking. But then, he said, he returned to work with Dunakin, and "Mark became my left-hand man." He waited a moment, then said, "And if you're wondering why I say that, it's because Mark rode on my left side." As he said this, Banks' face crumpled and he began to weep. The tears became general around this time.

Retired OPD Lieutenant Lawrence Eade was the only one of the speakers I saw (I had to leave before the end of the service to make deadline) to directly address the bitter relations between the Oakland police and much of the black community, especially its poorest parts, and the outrageous response to the murders by some people -- including some misguided "leftists." Saying angrily that he wanted to "set the record straight," Eade said "the citizens of Oakland showed up big time and demonstrated their commitment" to the police. Singling out some press outlets that said the Mixon shootings, following the unprovoked killing of an unarmed black man, Oscar Grant, by a BART cop, showed that there was a "civil war" going on between black people and the police, Eade almost shouted, "For those who manipulate the story, may your careers be extremely difficult until you tell the truth." As the audience loudly applauded, Eades said, "This is not about your ratings, this is about a tragic loss ...The citizens are not arming themselves against the police, there is no war between us and you cannot create one!"

As I walked out of that solemn sea of blue in the Arena, I looked towards East Oakland, and wondered what could happen to bring these two universes together. I know from a friend who works with them that many young black people in Oakland consider the police to be their enemy, an occupying force. Incredibly, some even support Lovelle Mixon, calling him an "insurgent" -- somehow forgetting that the main victims of murderous black thugs like Mixon are other black people.

I don't have the answers any more than anyone else does. I know that the police make mistakes sometimes, sometimes deadly ones, and sometimes they aren't mistakes. There are bad apples on every force. I know we need effective police oversight and review boards. We should legalize most drugs and stop locking up millions of black men for minor drug offenses, sending them into the Felon Training Schools known as prisons. I know we need better mentoring, better inner-city schools, better after-school programs, a better parole system. Mostly, I know that we need to start the long, hard work of getting rid of the ghettoes that blight our nation, so that screwed-up people like Mixon aren't around to wreak havoc on everyone, black and white -- mostly black. We need a lot of things, and we need them now.

But blaming the police for these problems is like blaming the paramedic for your heart attack. Mark Dunakin, John Hege, Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai did not die trying to take those things away from anyone. They died trying to protect us. And that means all of us -- black and white and brown and yellow, rich and poor, whether we live in $2 million homes in North Oakland or tenements off East 14th St. Today is a day to honor the memory of these brave men, and resolve to try to make the world a better place for their children. And for the children growing up in the killing fields of East Oakland. And for all of us.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on March 28, 2009, 07:47:52 AM
Thanks Rachel.

Funny enough, I narrowly avoided being seriously injured or killed yesterday trying to assist stranded motorists and direct traffic. The smallest of margins and it would have been my chief and a police chaplain at my door to awaken my wife instead of me.

The ritual of the police funeral has an importance that may not be understood by those outside the uniformed services world. Yes, we come together to grieve someone we may have never met, but in the grieving spouse, we see ours. But for the grace of god go we. A reminder that it could be us under the flag. We celebrate who they were and what they did. As it says on the nat'l law enforcement officer's memorial in DC, "It's not how that died that made them heroes, but how they lived".

The most important element to me, is seeing the public response to the fallen officers. The jobs burns you, and takes pieces of your soul. It's easy to become callous, cynical and jaded. To a degree, you have to just to survive in the job. It's easy to see the public you serve in the worst possible terms. No one calls the police when their life is good. Very few people bother to call to praise an officer, but those who wish to complain always seem to follow through.

When you see the vast numbers of the public that go out of their way to demonstrate their support, it recharges your soul.

A friend of a friend was murdered by a career felon several years ago. I attended the funeral in a large metropolitan area. The service was on one side of the metro area, the fallen detective was to be laid to rest in a cemetary on the other side of the city. I was dumbfounded to see citizens lining almost all of the route. Waving flags, holding signs of support, young and old.

They didn't have to be there. The escort to the burial started late and took a long time as the procession of police vehicles stretched for miles. And yet they stood there, saluted and waved for all of us.

A reminder there are a lot of good and decent people out there. So they can sleep peacefully, we gear up and go out into the darkness and they recognize and respect that. It gives us the strength to continue on.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on March 28, 2009, 04:23:13 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/03/28/video-oakland-salutes-its-four-murdered-police-officers/

Honoring the fallen.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on April 08, 2009, 12:28:53 PM
Hero Pittsburgh Police Officer Speaks
Posted: April 8th, 2009 12:45 PM GMT-05:00
Story by thepittsburghchannel.com
PITTSBURGH --
The city of Pittsburgh is mourning for three police officers, killed by a gunman in Stanton Heights.
On Wednesday, one of the police officers who tried to save one of the fallen spoke for the first time.
"He started firing again with much more firepower than I even could begin to put out," said Officer Timothy McManaway, who spoke on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday morning.
Officers Paul Sciullo II and Stephen Mayhle were shot responding to a domestic call on Fairfield Street. The officers were responding to a call about a domestic dispute on Saturday. When they entered the home of Richard Poplawski, Poplawski opened fire, police said, killing both men.
Officer Eric Kelly was on his way home when he stopped to help. He too was shot. McManaway said he saw the shooting and tried to help.
"He just raised his arm when I was up there. I noticed he was alive, so I figured there was a chance," McManaway said.
Timeline according to police statements: Shortly after 7 a.m. - Two officers respond to Stanton Heights domestic call. Sciullo enters house; is shot and killed. Mayhle backs him up; is shot and killed. On way home, Kelly decides to help; is shot and killed. McManaway shot in hand trying to help Kelly. Jones tries to secure back of house, jumps fence, breaks leg. SWAT arrives, comes under fire. Poplawski continues firing out of bedroom window. Negotiators convince Poplawski to surrender. Poplawski taken into custody; charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault.
Running into the line of fire, McManaway was shot in the hand. But he pulled his fellow officer behind a car to try to save his life. McManaway said Kelly asked him to deliver a message to his family.
"He wanted me to give a message to his wife and kids. I told him I wasn't going to deliver the message, he has to do it himself," McManaway said. But Kelly was too badly wounded.
"The injuries went way beyond anything I could have done to get him to stick around," McManaway said.
Another officer, Brian Jones, was also injured while trying to secure the scene.
The memorials for the fallen officers continue in Pittsburgh.
A viewing at the City-County Building will be held for law enforcement only from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday. Starting at 4 p.m. Wednesday, continuously until 10 a.m. Thursday, the public is welcome to pay their respects at the City-County Building.
Poplawski, 22, is charged with three counts of criminal homicide.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 05, 2009, 08:15:08 AM


By George Demetriou
NYPD Detective (retired)
Since 2007, at least five police officers have been killed or seriously wounded while handcuffing — in some cases after getting one handcuff on the violator. The offenders “rip” or pull the handcuffed arm away suddenly after cooperating with the officer and then draw a concealed firearm and shoot the officer. It should be noted that in every case that this has occurred the offender was being placed into custody for a minor offense.
Being aware that the offender can resist or assault at any point will remove the element of surprise from his strategy. Officers must be cognizant of the fact that this is the stage of the cuffing process where the bad guy does not need to see you. You have made physical contact so he knows, basically, where you are without having to look at you. You are standing where he can turn, pivot, spin or drop down and he knows you are within arms reach.
Between getting the first cuff on and the second cuff on is the most crucial part of the cuffing process yet this is the point of handcuffing where many officers begin to mentally relax believing they have control.
Violent offenders who are not psychologically incapacitated by the officer’s presence and command of the situation, especially the subjects who have pre-planned and practiced for this opportunity, will fight at this point. The “click” of the first cuff is their cue to go into action. Serious offenders who consider fighting or killing cops may understand or believe several things:
• By initially behaving in a compliant manner the officer will often lower his guard
• If the officer gets one handcuff on he’ll probably think the situation is “under control”
When the officer wants to take physical control he will have to step within striking distance of the suspect.
• When the officer is using both hands to control the subject and hold the cuffs he is not holding a baton, Taser, pepper spray, firearm or anything else that will do him harm
• While the officer’s hands are, at least temporarily, occupied the officer will not defend himself effectively
• If the offender has a weapon that the officer did not find or see the chance of accessing it is better now that the officer is preoccupied with maintaining cuff control
You may not be able to stop a violent offender from attempting an assault, but you can control whether or not you are surprised.
Why the Cuff Rip Works
An officer almost cannot help but to “chase” the handcuff that is pulled from his control. After all, the handcuffs are the officer’s personal property and he is responsible for them. No officer wants to lose a suspect or equipment.
Once the offender makes the explosive movement to pull the cuff and fight or shoot he has the time advantage. The officer will be reacting to the offender’s action. Controlling any violent resistor is difficult. Having to control an armed violent resistor at close range leaves little margin for error.
Prevention
The first step is checking arrest procedure mentality. It is impossible to determine a suspect’s capacity for violence based on the crime he committed when that crime was minor. All suspects, their family members and their friends are dangerous. Act accordingly.

All suspects are armed until you know positively that they are not. This includes the realization that wherever an officer is present there is at least one firearm present. The offender, during handcuffing, will be well within grabbing distance to the officer’s firearm.
Handcuffing is a time for heightened vigilance not a time for relaxing because the event is “over.” Being handcuffed may be “showtime” for the violent offender.
Physically combating the handcuff rip is difficult at best. The safest option is to assume the offender is going for a concealed weapon. This of course means the officer should disregard the handcuffs, move and draw his firearm. Quickly changing position and being able to get your firearm on target will be the life saving action should the bad guy have a weapon. Better to have the suspect run off with the handcuffs then to try to regain control only to find out that while you’re trying to grab the suspect’s arm he’s pulling out a weapon with his free hand.
It should be noted that “chasing” the handcuffs is unproductive time as the suspect’s arms will be moving too fast during the “rip” to gain control. It will be nearly impossible to get control of both arms. One hand free is all an armed suspect will need. The safest way to gain physical control of the offender, in this situation, is to control the head-NOT the arms and bring the suspect down before he can draw a weapon. Effective control of the head will allow the officer to use a takedown that doesn’t rely on arm control. The offender will be forced to use his hands to break his fall as opposed to being focused on attacking the officer. This can only be done effectively with realistic, consistent training.
Handcuffing may be considered the end of a confrontation for the arresting officer. For the violent offender it may be considered the beginning of an assault on the officer. These diametrically opposed perspectives are at the root of the problem for officers.
Officers need to approach handcuffing with the proper mentality and have a trained response should the offender decide that he’ll do whatever is necessary not to go to jail at that moment.
The training priority regarding handcuffing should be the offender who is initially cooperative, but becomes violent just before or just after one handcuff goes on.
George Demetriou, NYPD detective (retired) is the President of Spartan Performance. Spartan Performance is dedicated to physical conditioning as well as the Dynamics of Violent Offender Confrontations (D-VOC). Spartan Performance uses the CrossFit methodology for fitness training.
Title: Run Out by an Armadillo
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 21, 2009, 02:44:24 PM
An interesting solution with civil liberty ramifications:

'Armadillo' Plays Well in Peoria But Is Panned by Drug Dealers
Cops Use Old Brink's Truck to Shame Suspects; Video Cameras Add to the Drama
By CARRIE PORTER

PEORIA, Ill. -- This industrial city, hard hit by the recession, has found a new, low-budget way to fight crime: Park an unmanned, former Brink's truck bristling with video cameras in front of the dwellings of troublemakers.

Police here call it the Armadillo. They say it has restored quiet to some formerly rowdy streets. Neighbors' calls for help have dropped sharply. About half of the truck's targets have fled the neighborhood.

"The truck is meant to be obnoxious and to cause shame," says Peoria Police Chief Steven Settingsgaard.

The Armadillo has helped alleviate problems like drug dealing that can make neighborhoods unlivable.

Police got a call at 2:30 one morning from Mary Smith, a 58-year-old computer operator at a Butternut Bread Bakery. Fighting back tears, she asked for relief from her neighbors' incessant yelling.

She and her husband, Terry, 61, a Butternut baker, have lived in their home on North Wisconsin Avenue for 30 years, and have seen the neighborhood fall into drug trafficking. The police suggested using the Armadillo.

That weekend, the truck pulled up to the offending neighbor's house. A police officer knocked on the door and told the residents a nuisance report had been filed. Within 24 hours, the Smiths say, the house was quiet. The occupants moved out soon thereafter.

"The difference was like night and day," Mrs. Smith says. The landlord, Phil Schertz, credits the Armadillo.

"The ugliness of the Armadillo is what makes it unique," says Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police. "A police car is not a particular stigma, but if people see that thing in front of your house, they know something bad is going on in there."

Peoria police acknowledge that the truck sometimes just shifts crime from one area to another. But it can disrupt illegal activities temporarily. Citizens appear to like the idea, and police say they have a four-week waiting list of requests for the Armadillo.

Peoria is a city of 114,000 about 170 miles southwest of Chicago. Amid layoffs at equipment giant Caterpillar Inc. and other companies, the city's unemployment rate has jumped to 10%, from about 6% a year ago. Crime has increased as the economy has declined, police say.

The biggest problem, as Peoria police see it, is drug trafficking that plagues pockets of the city marked by boarded windows, littered lawns and noise complaints.

In the summer of 2006, police were brainstorming ways to rattle a suspected drug dealer. They had exhausted traditional strategies, including undercover operations, and were left empty-handed and frustrated. They decided to park a retired police car in front of the suspect's house.

About 24 hours after the car had been put in place, all its windows had been smashed, the tires were flat and the body was dented.

"It was embarrassing to tow a police car," Chief Settingsgaard says. "But I saw it as a success because it was proof how much [the dealer] really disliked the police car's presence."

The dealer left the neighborhood soon after the incident; he was later arrested and convicted on a gun charge.

One summer night, Chief Settingsgaard was pulling out of police headquarters when he did a double take. Rusting in a corner of the police parking lot was a hulking Brink's truck. It had been purchased -- for a dollar -- to use in emergencies but had yet to be pressed into service. The chief thought it could be the perfect nuisance-deterrence vehicle, seemingly indestructible and inarguably an eyesore.

Over the next year, the 12,000 pounds of heavy metal got an extensive makeover, including about $10,000 in new equipment and repairs. It was outfitted with five infrared surveillance cameras, a padlocked hood, a locked gas cap, and protective screens over the head and tail lights.

A Peoria tire company installed foam-filled tires that can't go flat. Decals that say "PEORIA POLICE Nuisance Property Surveillance Vehicle" were pasted on all four sides of the white truck.

There were some bumps along the road. When Officer Elizabeth Hermacinski, 39, the force's nuisance-abatement officer and Armadillo driver, took the behemoth out for its first deployment in July 2008, the targeted troublemakers seemed to have gotten wind of the plan. In any case, they had parked cars in every available spot in front of the house.

So Ms. Hermacinski parked across the street, close enough to get the message across. "It's psychological warfare," she says.

The Armadillo is the opposite of an undercover operation. Its goal isn't making arrests, but alerting suspects that police are on to them, police say. The surveillance footage is rarely reviewed by the police and is saved for just a short time before it is erased. Still, the unit can have a significant impact.

This past July, Maggie Wren, 50, requested that the Armadillo pay a visit to her home. Police say her adult children and grandchildren were loitering on her front porch and leaving empty beer bottles in her yard. "Every time I wake up, there's something broken on my fence," she says.

Police parked the truck outside her house while she went away on vacation. Police say the porch remained quiet and empty while she was gone.

One recent afternoon, Officer Hermacinski was moving the Armadillo to a new spot. "It drives like a tractor," she said, yelling in order to be heard over the engine's roar.

She pulled the Armadillo to the curb of a white, one-story house with red siding suspected of being a drug house. She flipped on the surveillance cameras, hopped down from the truck and knocked on the door of the house. No one answered. Then she walked over to a waiting police cruiser, got in and drove away, leaving the Armadillo to do its job.

Write to Carrie Porter at carrie.porter@wsj.com

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125046098403135197.html
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 21, 2009, 02:49:21 PM
And what would those "civil liberties" ramifications be?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 21, 2009, 03:41:46 PM
And what would those "civil liberties" ramifications be?

I knew that was coming. For one I wouldn't want Eric Holder parking one of these outside my house because of my habit of rabidly advocating Second Amendment freedoms. Grew up in the Chicago area reading about the follies of that thoroughly corrupt jurisdiction and hence don't have much trouble imagining a city councilman getting Chicago PD to park one of these in front of a political opponents house, or better yet the home of his mistress. I could extrapolate further if you'd like, but in view of the fact that we do have an Attorney General who refuses to prosecute Black Panthers filmed intimidating voters while threatening to investigate CIA employees doing their job, and in view of the cemetery vote Chicago alderman and their union lackeys  still manage to inspire, do I really have to?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 21, 2009, 07:02:23 PM
As much as Eric Holder's free pass to the New Black Panthers' voter intimidation and general Chicago corruption disgusts me, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy for what can be seen or heard from a public place.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 21, 2009, 07:05:31 PM
Well I'm occasionally reasonable and fully expect the government not to point a bunch of cameras at my bedroom window, but I'm funny that way.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 21, 2009, 07:28:46 PM
If it can be seen from a public place, then it isn't private. The courts have made this clear.

Secondly, where is the concern for those that suffer in their homes from thugs that invade their neighborhood? What of their rights?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 21, 2009, 08:04:11 PM
If it can be seen from a public place, then it isn't private. The courts have made this clear.

Peeping Toms no doubt rejoice.

Quote
Secondly, where is the concern for those that suffer in their homes from thugs that invade their neighborhood? What of their rights?

They are welcome to park anything they want in front of their house. Indeed, I've lived places and dealt with problems where I'd contemplate asking for this service. As with any law enforcement tool from Tasers to no-knock entries, there is a potential for abuse that I'd just as soon avoid, however.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 21, 2009, 08:16:48 PM
Anything that law enforcement does has the potential for abuse. Is the answer then to not have law enforcement?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 21, 2009, 11:07:40 PM
No. A bit of good sense and adherence to the founding principles of this nation will do.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 22, 2009, 06:29:32 AM
So how exactly is using the "Aramadillo" not good sense or adhering to the founding principles of this nation?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: DougMacG on August 22, 2009, 11:05:05 AM
"Anything that law enforcement does has the potential for abuse. Is the answer then to not have law enforcement?"

No. We want it both ways, we want to be not investigated when innocent and we want all crime stopped before it is even contemplated.  So good luck pleasing everyone. Seriously thank you for bringing your experience and professionalism to a sometimes impossible job.

One beef I have from the story is that they defined success as either arresting the drug dealer or getting them to leave the neighborhood.  They don't leave the city and they don't leave the business.  Assuming they are known criminals committing crimes, it is not an equivalent success IMO to have them move on rather than marked with an arrest, a conviction and a sentence.
Title: Bucket's Gotta Hole
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 22, 2009, 11:22:13 AM
Quote
So how exactly is using the "Aramadillo" not good sense or adhering to the founding principles of this nation?

If an attorney general with a history of bad judgement used it to harass political foes, or if a corrupt city employed it to attack opponents that would demonstrate a lack of good sense and adherence to the founding principles of the country. Oh wait, we've been here before: There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza. . . .
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 22, 2009, 01:34:01 PM


One beef I have from the story is that they defined success as either arresting the drug dealer or getting them to leave the neighborhood.  They don't leave the city and they don't leave the business.  Assuming they are known criminals committing crimes, it is not an equivalent success IMO to have them move on rather than marked with an arrest, a conviction and a sentence.

In general, there are many more drug dealers than narcotics detectives and patrol officers to chase them. Knowing that you have bad people doing bad things and being able to meet the standards of probable cause/beyond a reasonable doubt in court are very different things.

Specifically, because there are so many constitutional protections, making a case against a group that is dealing drugs and attracting assorted other bad things into an area takes time and resources and demand almost always outstrips the resources available to law enforcement.

Using tools like the "Armadillo" is a tool to restore some order where it's breaking down. A clever and legal use of police resources, IMHO.

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 22, 2009, 01:46:15 PM
There does seem to be a pattern:

1. a person of libertarian bent seizes on a legally defensible police tool because it's "scary" or involves some use of technology (especially cameras) and then decries the obvious signs that this means we are but days, if not seconds away from living in an Orwellian dystopia.

2. I ask how it's bad given various constitutional/legal structures.

3. The response is "Well, it COULD be abused" coupled with boilerplate slogans invoking human freedom and constitutional rights.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 22, 2009, 03:17:06 PM
There does seem to be a pattern:

1. a person of libertarian bent seizes on a legally defensible police tool because it's "scary" or involves some use of technology (especially cameras) and then decries the obvious signs that this means we are but days, if not seconds away from living in an Orwellian dystopia.

And then there's the converse: a person with a law enforcement bent seizes upon a new tool and can't conceive of a misuse, at least one that won't pass someone's version of constitutional muster, and then casts anyone who does take pause as an unmitigated ideologue providing de-facto support for horrible criminal elements preying upon the weakest members of society, and likely strangling kittens, to boot

Quote
2. I ask how it's bad given various constitutional/legal structures.

As pointed out before, you can pose stark questions faster than I can write reasoned responses. If you can't conceive of a misuse given this planet's sorry history of totalitarian governments using every tool at hand to snuff out liberty and life, no amount of keyboarding I do in response is going to do anything more than lead to further stark parsing.

Quote
3. The response is "Well, it COULD be abused" coupled with boilerplate slogans invoking human freedom and constitutional rights.

Name a tool that hasn't been abused and I'll consider sparing you the slogans next lap around this track.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 22, 2009, 03:47:28 PM
There does seem to be a pattern:

1. a person of libertarian bent seizes on a legally defensible police tool because it's "scary" or involves some use of technology (especially cameras) and then decries the obvious signs that this means we are but days, if not seconds away from living in an Orwellian dystopia.

And then there's the converse: a person with a law enforcement bent seizes upon a new tool and can't conceive of a misuse,

**The courts have ruled over and over that you have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the public sphere. That means anyone can view, photograph, film anyone or anything in public. This means the media, law enforcement or Joe Citizen.**

at least one that won't pass someone's version of constitutional muster, and then casts anyone who does take pause as an unmitigated ideologue providing de-facto support for horrible criminal elements preying upon the weakest members of society, and likely strangling kittens, to boot

**Hardly. It would be nice for your critiques of police practices to have some grounding in actual caselaw rather than emotion. You wouldn't accept someone's assertion that global warming was indeed happining because "It feels warmer".**

Quote
2. I ask how it's bad given various constitutional/legal structures.

As pointed out before, you can pose stark questions faster than I can write reasoned responses.


**I'm trying to evoke a reasoned response, which on this topic is like pulling teeth. What we have here is the same unthinking emotionalism that fuels gun control supporters. Guns are scary so let's get rid of them. Police cameras are scary, so let's get rid of them. Why? Because the potential for misuse is there.**

If you can't conceive of a misuse given this planet's sorry history of totalitarian governments using every tool at hand to snuff out liberty and life, no amount of keyboarding I do in response is going to do anything more than lead to further stark parsing.


**I have already stated that anything has the potential for misuse. There have been bad police shootings in the past, and there will be bad shootings in the future. Is the policy solution to then disarm police officers?**

Quote
3. The response is "Well, it COULD be abused" coupled with boilerplate slogans invoking human freedom and constitutional rights.

Name a tool that hasn't been abused and I'll consider sparing you the slogans next lap around this track.

**Any police power has the potential for abuse, which is why we have multiple layers of review over police actions in this country. The courts and ultimately the citizens shape how policing is done here.**
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 22, 2009, 04:03:22 PM
Privacy and search in the US law
The expectation of privacy is crucial to distinguish a legitimate, reasonable police search and seizure from an unreasonable one.

In Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967) Justice Harlan issued a concurring opinion articulating the two-part test later adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court as the test for determining whether a police or government search is subject to the limitations of the Fourth Amendment: (1) governmental action must contravene an individual's actual, subjective expectation of privacy; (2) and that expectation of privacy must be reasonable, in the sense that society in general would recognize it as such.

In order to meet the first part of the test, the person from whom the information was obtained must demonstrate that they, in fact, had an actual, subjective expectation that the evidence obtained would not be available to the public. In other words, the person asserting that a search was conducted must show that they kept the evidence in a manner designed to ensure its privacy.

The first part of the test is related to the notion "in plain view". If a person did not undertake reasonable efforts to conceal something from a casual observer (as opposed to a snoop), then no subjective expectation of privacy is assumed. [6]

The second part of the test is analyzed objectively: would society at large deem a person's expectation of privacy to be reasonable? If it is plain that a person did not keep the evidence at issue in a private place, then no search is required to uncover the evidence. For example, there is generally no search when police officers look through garbage because a reasonable person would not expect that items placed in the garbage would necessarily remain private.[7] Similarly, there is no search where officers monitor what phone numbers an individual dials,[8] although the Congress has enacted laws which restrict such monitoring. The Supreme Court has also ruled that there is no objectively reasonable expectation of privacy (and thus no search) when officers hovering in a helicopter 400 feet above a suspect's house conduct surveillance.[9]
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 22, 2009, 10:11:42 PM
Quote
**The courts have ruled over and over that you have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the public sphere. That means anyone can view, photograph, film anyone or anything in public. This means the media, law enforcement or Joe Citizen.**

And this means I should be comfortable with the idea of a truck parked in front of my house with a camera pointed at my bedroom window?

Quote
. . . at least one that won't pass someone's version of constitutional muster, and then casts anyone who does take pause as an unmitigated ideologue providing de-facto support for horrible criminal elements preying upon the weakest members of society, and likely strangling kittens, to boot

**Hardly. It would be nice for your critiques of police practices to have some grounding in actual caselaw rather than emotion. You wouldn't accept someone's assertion that global warming was indeed happining because "It feels warmer".**

I'm not a lawyer and hence have little acquaintance with case law and so won't quote what I don't know. And you have me dead to rights, my response is an emotional one: I feel strongly that I don't want police cameras pointed at my house recording the comings and goings of me, my wife, and kids and then used for purposes yet defined; nor do I want thermal imaging done through my walls; nor do I want lasers bounced of my windows to record conversations occurring inside my home; nor do I want people going through my trash or collecting and analyzing flushed body waste to determine if any malfeasance is occurring. Is there case law that allows each of these techniques to be employed? I imagine so. Does that mean I can't dislike it or shouldn't be concerned about misuse?

Be all that as it may, global warming ought to be a scientific debate based on empiric measurement. This debate is about privacy and governmental intrusion into one's life, which is a far more subjective matter that resists empiric measurement.

Quote
As pointed out before, you can pose stark questions faster than I can write reasoned responses.

**I'm trying to evoke a reasoned response, which on this topic is like pulling teeth. What we have here is the same unthinking emotionalism that fuels gun control supporters. Guns are scary so let's get rid of them. Police cameras are scary, so let's get rid of them. Why? Because the potential for misuse is there.**

I'm beginning to think this is a gulf we will not bridge. I look at the sorry history of the planet and can identify very few times and places where the powers that be were constrained from the exercise of arbitrary power. I don't want the status quo endured over most of the planet for just about all of time to impact me and mine here an now. If that's not reasoned well enough for you I'm not sure what more I can say.

Quote
If you can't conceive of a misuse given this planet's sorry history of totalitarian governments using every tool at hand to snuff out liberty and life, no amount of keyboarding I do in response is going to do anything more than lead to further stark parsing.

**I have already stated that anything has the potential for misuse. There have been bad police shootings in the past, and there will be bad shootings in the future. Is the policy solution to then disarm police officers?**

I do not want police disarmed, but I do want them to use lethal force judiciously. I also want privacy infringements to be based on judicious standards. In this instance the standard seems to be based on a phone call or other complaint, to which the jurisdiction in question apparently responds by saying "we've got a report of a dirtbag living on Elm street. Let's park a butt ugly truck laden with cameras in front of the house and see if we can intimidate him out of the neighborhood." Be it use of lethal force, privacy infringements, or any other exercise of government power, I would hope they'd be based on standards more stringent than the one described.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on August 23, 2009, 05:51:35 PM
Quote
**The courts have ruled over and over that you have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the public sphere. That means anyone can view, photograph, film anyone or anything in public. This means the media, law enforcement or Joe Citizen.**

And this means I should be comfortable with the idea of a truck parked in front of my house with a camera pointed at my bedroom window?

**One word: Curtains.**

Quote
. . . at least one that won't pass someone's version of constitutional muster, and then casts anyone who does take pause as an unmitigated ideologue providing de-facto support for horrible criminal elements preying upon the weakest members of society, and likely strangling kittens, to boot

**Hardly. It would be nice for your critiques of police practices to have some grounding in actual caselaw rather than emotion. You wouldn't accept someone's assertion that global warming was indeed happining because "It feels warmer".**

I'm not a lawyer and hence have little acquaintance with case law and so won't quote what I don't know. And you have me dead to rights, my response is an emotional one: I feel strongly that I don't want police cameras pointed at my house recording the comings and goings of me, my wife, and kids and then used for purposes yet defined; nor do I want thermal imaging done through my walls; nor do I want lasers bounced of my windows to record conversations occurring inside my home; nor do I want people going through my trash or collecting and analyzing flushed body waste to determine if any malfeasance is occurring. Is there case law that allows each of these techniques to be employed? I imagine so. Does that mean I can't dislike it or shouldn't be concerned about misuse?

Be all that as it may, global warming ought to be a scientific debate based on empiric measurement. This debate is about privacy and governmental intrusion into one's life, which is a far more subjective matter that resists empiric measurement.

Quote
As pointed out before, you can pose stark questions faster than I can write reasoned responses.

**I'm trying to evoke a reasoned response, which on this topic is like pulling teeth. What we have here is the same unthinking emotionalism that fuels gun control supporters. Guns are scary so let's get rid of them. Police cameras are scary, so let's get rid of them. Why? Because the potential for misuse is there.**

I'm beginning to think this is a gulf we will not bridge. I look at the sorry history of the planet and can identify very few times and places where the powers that be were constrained from the exercise of arbitrary power. I don't want the status quo endured over most of the planet for just about all of time to impact me and mine here an now. If that's not reasoned well enough for you I'm not sure what more I can say.

***Keep in mind that as much as you fear the potential for the abuse/misuse of police power, living in a place without the rule of law is much, much worse. I know of no place in the US that is a police state, but I bet you live within driving distance of places where is little in the way of police presence and life in those location is a Hobbesian nightmare. Everything law enforcement officers do in this country is subject to many levels of scrutiny and judicial review.***

Quote
If you can't conceive of a misuse given this planet's sorry history of totalitarian governments using every tool at hand to snuff out liberty and life, no amount of keyboarding I do in response is going to do anything more than lead to further stark parsing.

**I have already stated that anything has the potential for misuse. There have been bad police shootings in the past, and there will be bad shootings in the future. Is the policy solution to then disarm police officers?**

I do not want police disarmed, but I do want them to use lethal force judiciously. I also want privacy infringements to be based on judicious standards. In this instance the standard seems to be based on a phone call or other complaint, to which the jurisdiction in question apparently responds by saying "we've got a report of a dirtbag living on Elm street. Let's park a butt ugly truck laden with cameras in front of the house and see if we can intimidate him out of the neighborhood." Be it use of lethal force, privacy infringements, or any other exercise of government power, I would hope they'd be based on standards more stringent than the one described.

I'd bet that there are policies in place that were reviewed by multiple lawyers before the "Armadillo" had day one in the field.
Title: A nice primer on surveillance
Post by: G M on August 23, 2009, 06:12:09 PM
http://www.cdt.org/wiretap/wiretap_overview.html

The Nature and Scope of Governmental Electronic Surveillance Activity
July 2006

Even before the PATRIOT Act, federal agencies had broad legal powers to monitor telephone conversations, e-mail, pagers, wireless phones, computers and all other electronic communications and communications devices. The PATRIOT Act expanded some of these powers but generally did not disrupt the basic framework, which is constitutionally grounded.

Government wiretap authority
There are two sources of authority for wiretapping in the US.

(1) The Federal Wiretap Act, sometimes referred to as Title III, was adopted in 1968 and expanded in 1986. It sets procedures for court authorization of real-time surveillance of all kinds of electronic communications, including voice, e-mail, fax, and Internet, in criminal investigations. It normally requires, before a wiretap can commence, a court order issued by a judge who must conclude, based on an affidavit submitted by the government, that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been, is being, or is about to be committed. Terrorist bombings, hijackings and other violent activities are crimes for which wiretaps can be ordered. (The PATRIOT Act expanded the list of criminal statutes for which wiretaps can be ordered.) This authority is used to prevent as well as punish crimes: government can wiretap in advance of a crime being carried out, where the wiretap is used to identify planning and conspiratorial activities. Judges almost never deny government requests for wiretap orders.

(2) The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 allows wiretapping of aliens and citizens in the US based on a finding of probable cause to believe that the target is a member of a foreign terrorist group or an agent of a foreign power. For US citizens and permanent resident aliens, there must also be probable cause to believe that the person is engaged in activities that "may" involve a criminal violation. Suspicion of illegal activity is not required in the case of aliens who are not permanent residents - for them, membership in a terrorist group is enough, even if their activities on behalf of the group are legal. The most important judicial opinion interpreting FISA is from a special appellate panel: In re Sealed Case at http://www.cdt.org/security/usapatriot/021118fisa.pdf

One major change made by the PATRIOT Act was to allow prosecutors to use FISA for the purpose of gathering evidence in criminal investigations of national security crimes.

Finally, it is worth noting that there are no legislative limits on US government electronic eavesdropping carried out overseas. Neither Title III nor FISA have any application to intelligence collection activities outside the US. The legal authority for electronic surveillance outside the US is contained in Executive Order 12,333 issued by President Reagan in 1982, still in effect today. Intelligence agencies do not need a court order to intercept communications outside the US. If a United States citizen or US permanent resident alien is targeted for surveillance abroad, the Executive Order requires the approval of the Attorney General. By internal guideline, the Attorney General must find that there is probable cause to believe that the US person who is the target of the surveillance is an agent of a foreign power as defined in FISA. Decisions to target non-US persons are left to the intelligence community. And the vacuum cleaner approach that does not involve targeting of US persons also requires no approval from outside the intelligence community, although there are limits on the dissemination of information about US persons that is collected "incidental" to an intelligence collection activity.

Emergency authority
Both Title III and FISA allow the government to carry out wiretaps without a court order in emergency situations involving risk of death or serious bodily injury and in national security cases.

Roving taps
Under Title III, the government has "roving tap" authority, meaning that it can get a court order that does not name a specific telephone line or e-mail account but allows the government to tap any phone line, cell phone, or Internet account that a suspect uses. This authority was initially adopted in 1986 and was substantially broadened in 1999. The PATRIOT Act added roving tap authority to FISA.

Roving taps are relatively rare. In 2005, 8 roving taps were approved in criminal cases under Title III. Of those, one was for a federal racketeering investigation. The other 7 were at the state level: 4 applications were authorized for use in narcotics investigations, 1 application in a racketeering investigation, 1 application in a murder investigation, and 1 application in a money laundering investigation. The 2005 Wiretap Report, issued in April 2006, is available online at http://www.uscourts.gov/wiretap05/contents.html

Encryption
Use of encryption in the US is not regulated. If a service provider encrypts communication and has the key, the service provider must decrypt the communications when served with a wiretap order. But a service provider has no obligation to decrypt communication encrypted by the end user when the service provider does not have the key. Likewise, CALEA, which requires telecommunication carriers to support government surveillance activities on their networks, explicitly states that the carriers have no obligation to provide the plain text of communications encrypted by parties themselves. Beginning with the 2000 Wiretap Report, the government has been required to report on the number of wiretap applications granted in which encryption was encountered and whether such encryption prevented law enforcement officials from obtaining the plain text of communications intercepted pursuant to the court orders. In 2005, no federal wiretaps reported that encryption was encountered. For state and local jurisdictions, encryption was reported to have been encountered in 13 wiretaps in 2005; however, the encryption was not reported to have prevented law enforcement officials from obtaining the plain text of communications intercepted. So far, the government has reported only a single wiretap frustrated by encryption.

Courts Rarely Deny Wiretap Requests
The rapid changes in telecommunications technology have been accompanied by a growth in the potential intrusiveness of electronic surveillance and a steady increase in government surveillance activity. While the wiretap laws establish important protections -- most notably requiring for interception of call content a judicial order based on a finding of probable cause -- in practice state and federal judges rarely deny applications for authority to conduct electronic surveillance.

Every spring, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts publishes statistics on wiretap activity of federal, state, and local police in the prior year. The report covering 2005 is available online: http://www.uscourts.gov/wiretap05/contents.html. A useful summary, covering the years 1993-2005 and showing the nearly steady increase in the use of wiretaps, is provided by Table 7, which is at http://www.uscourts.gov/wiretap05/Table72005-1.pdf.

Highlights of the 2003 Report on Wiretaps in Criminal Cases
Number of wiretap requests approved in 2005: 1,773

Number of wiretap requests denied: 1

Percent of wiretaps that were against mobile phones: 91% (1,433 of 1,773)

Percent in which the most serious crime was a drug-related crime: 81% (1,433 of 1,773)

Percent in which encryption prevented law enforcement from receiving the plain text of intercepted communications: 0%

Average number of communications intercepted per wiretap: 2,835

Average number of people intercepted per wiretap: 107

Approximate number of conversations intercepted: 5.0 million

Longest running federal wiretap ending in 2005: 287 days

Longest running state wiretap ending in 2005: 559 days

Percent of intercepted conversations deemed "incriminating": 22%

Average cost of wiretap: $ 55,530

Recent Trends
Year Applications Wiretap orders approved Denied
2005 1774 1773 1
2004 1710 1710 0
2003 1442 1442 0
2002 1359 1358 1
2001 1491 1491 0
2000 1190 1190 0
1999 1350 1350 0
1998 1329 1327 2
1997 1186 1186 0
1996 1150 1149 1

Prior to 1996, the last time that any application, state or federal, for electronic surveillance was denied was 1988, when 2 out of 738 applications were denied. Meanwhile, from 1990 through 2000, 12,039 applications were approved. Wiretap authorizations have increased 103% since 1990, when there were 872.

These figures do not include consensual wiretaps, bugs and body wires, where a crime victim, an informant or an undercover agent consents to the recording of a conversation to which he or she is a party. Such interceptions, a staple of modern law enforcement practice, usually are not reflected in the statistics since, under federal law and the law of most states, they do not require court approval.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Nor does the figure of 1,773 approved wiretaps for 2005 cover the separate set of authorizations issued by a select group of federal judges, operating under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), who yearly issue over 1,500 interception and secret physical search orders in foreign counterintelligence and international terrorism cases (2,072 in 2005). (It is hard to tell, given the classified nature of the court's proceedings, how many wiretaps these orders entail. Some of the orders are good for one year, while some require reauthorization every ninety days, so some targets are the subject of four orders in a year. On the other hand, one order may authorize multiple taps. Plus, starting in 1996, the figures for the FISA court included physical searches ("black bag jobs"), which are probably relatively few in number but which are included in the single overall number released by the court.) In its entire existence, since 1978, the FISA court has turned down only four government requests for electronic surveillance authority.

Year Applications Wiretap orders approved Denied
2005 2072 2072 0
2004 1754 1754 0
2003 1727 1724 3+1 (in part)
2002 1228 1228 0
2001 934 934 0
2000 1012 1012 0
1999 886 886 0
1998 796 796 0
1997 748 748 1 (sent back)
1996 839 839 0
1995 697 697 0
1994 579 579 0
1993 509 509 0

View chart of Combined Wiretap Usage, 1968-2003

Real-time Collection of Call-Identifying Information -- Pen Register and Trap & Trace Devices
The figures on court ordered wiretaps (interceptions of the content of conversations) also do not include orders issued on a lower standard for surveillance of transactional data through pen registers and trap and trace devices. In 1996, law enforcement agencies in the U.S. Department of Justice alone obtained a total of 4,569 original pen register or trap and trace orders, authorizing contemporaneous interception of dialed number information on the telephone facilities of 10,520 persons. This compares with 4,972 orders in 1995, covering the telephone facilities of 11,801 persons. There are never any denials of pen register and trap and trace requests, since the law provides that the judge "shall" issue the order whenever an attorney for the government certifies that the information likely to be obtained is "relevant" to an ongoing criminal investigation. These statistics cover only the law enforcement agencies of the U.S. Department of Justice. They do not cover other federal law enforcement agencies or state and local police. (In 1994 Congressional testimony, the FBI Director estimated that the total number of pen register orders in 1992 was 9,000.)

Subpoenas for Call-Identifying Information (Transactional Data).
Finally, a full picture of government surveillance activity must include cases in which law enforcement uses a subpoena to obtain stored transactional records relating to local or long distance calls or to Internet usage. Companies collect and store such information for billing and other business purposes, and law enforcement agencies routinely request the information in criminal cases, usually with a grand jury subpoena. (In foreign counterintelligence and international terrorism cases, the FBI can obtain such information without a court order using a procedure known as an NSL.) Data on these cases are not assembled by the government. However, the scope of law enforcement activity is suggested by data submitted by some telephone service providers in response to a congressional inquiry in 1993. Bell Atlantic, for example, indicated that for the years 1989 through 1992, it had responded to 25,453 subpoenas or court orders for toll billing records of 213,821 of its customers. NYNEX reported that it had processed 25,510 subpoenas covering an unrecorded number of customers in 1992 alone.

The Legal Protections and Their Erosion Over Time
The wiretap laws include several protections against abuse. Illegally seized evidence cannot be used in court. The exclusionary rule in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is bolstered by a statutory exclusionary rule in the federal wiretap statute, making evidence obtained from illegal wiretaps useless in court. (Successive Administrations have proposed weakening the statutory exclusionary rule, to make the introduction of illegal wiretap evidence easier.)

However, it must also be said that judges tend to give law enforcement agencies broad latitude, as reflected in judicial decisions approving law enforcement conduct when defendants seek to suppress wiretap evidence at trial. Between 1985 and 1994, when there were 8,489 criminal wiretaps, judges nationwide granted 138 suppression motions to exclude intercepted material from evidence while denying 3,060, for a 4.3% suppression rate. Evidence gathered through FISA-authorized surveillance sometimes is introduced in criminal cases -- no FISA evidence has ever been excluded from a criminal case.

One of the most significant areas in which the courts have interpreted the law in the government's favor concerns the question of necessity. The wiretap law states that the court cannot approve an interception request unless it finds that "normal investigative procedures have been tried and have failed or reasonably appear to be unlikely to succeed if tried or to be too dangerous." Law enforcement officials regularly contend, as FBI Director Freeh did in 1994 testimony, that this provision of the law permits electronic surveillance "only when all other investigative techniques will not work or are too dangerous" (emphasis added). In practice, the courts have interpreted this provision to require only that law enforcement try some other techniques, not that they exhaust all reasonably available methods of obtaining the necessary evidence.

Courts have also been reluctant to enforce the minimization requirements of the law, which require law enforcement agents to screen the calls and turn off their recording devices whenever the conversation appears to relate to irrelevant, non-incriminating aspects of the target's life. Judges rarely rule that a wiretap was illegally carried out for failure to minimize.

July 2006
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: DougMacG on August 23, 2009, 10:09:52 PM
I support liberties lost in FISA.  If my number is discovered even for innocent reasons in the speed dial or recently called numbers of a captured terrorist, I expect surveillance and will live through it.  Hopefully they discover it was a wrong number!

A columnist and talk show host hear put it nicely, that if the 19 hijackers were discovered to be middle-aged, balding, midwest, talk show hosts of French Canadian descent, he would expect to be slowed down a little in airports.

Over to BBG's example of abuse with armadillo.  If the Police Chief orders it in front of the Mayor's rival's house for all the wrong reasons, I think we can all agree that those complicit should be fired and prosecuted.

Somebody puts their reputation and hopefully their career on the line when they order surveillance by the government of a private citizen.   
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 24, 2009, 07:46:48 AM
Quote
And this means I should be comfortable with the idea of a truck parked in front of my house with a camera pointed at my bedroom window?

**One word: Curtains.**

Second word: Sunlight. Third Word: Stargazing.

Quote
I'm beginning to think this is a gulf we will not bridge. I look at the sorry history of the planet and can identify very few times and places where the powers that be were constrained from the exercise of arbitrary power. I don't want the status quo endured over most of the planet for just about all of time to impact me and mine here an now. If that's not reasoned well enough for you I'm not sure what more I can say.

***Keep in mind that as much as you fear the potential for the abuse/misuse of police power, living in a place without the rule of law is much, much worse. I know of no place in the US that is a police state, but I bet you live within driving distance of places where is little in the way of police presence and life in those location is a Hobbesian nightmare. Everything law enforcement officers do in this country is subject to many levels of scrutiny and judicial review.***

Well, I live within driving distance of DC, which can be pretty freaking Hobbesian despite the highest concentration of law enforcement in the country. Next county over from DC has a town where the mayor was sent a packet of marijuana by a dealer who planned to then swipe it off the stoop. The county PD misconstrued the deal all the way around and sent in SWAT, who shot the mayor's two dogs that, by all accounts were fleeing in terror as well as rolling out the whole SWAT kneel on the head drill on everyone in the house, including the mayor's mother, if memory serves. Though county officials have since come out and said the mayor had nothing to do with the plot they maintain their officers acted appropriately. Think it was the same county that had a suspected cop killer in custody who was then murdered while in solitary confinement. All the correctional officers on duty at the time lawyered up, clammed up, and a recent grand jury was unable to issue any indictments. Somehow surveillance videos of the cell area were tampered with. I'm much closer to West Virginia which has a long history of coal country violence where subsistence miners in company towns would attempt to organize, only to have heads cracked and shotguns racked by the "police" the company would then hire.

Be that as it may, I'm willing to cede current law enforcement is indeed subject to many levels of review and will cede further that here and now as an era is one of about the greatest US police oversight. Indeed, incidents like the Boston/Gates charlie foxtrot suggest perhaps there is too much oversight that is used against rank and file cops simply trying to do their jobs. All that doesn't mean however that I can't want to improve things where possible, maintain accountability at today's level and increase it where it makes sense, or that I can't worry about new tools being misused as just about every tool is at one point or another.

Quote
I do not want police disarmed, but I do want them to use lethal force judiciously. I also want privacy infringements to be based on judicious standards. In this instance the standard seems to be based on a phone call or other complaint, to which the jurisdiction in question apparently responds by saying "we've got a report of a dirtbag living on Elm street. Let's park a butt ugly truck laden with cameras in front of the house and see if we can intimidate him out of the neighborhood." Be it use of lethal force, privacy infringements, or any other exercise of government power, I would hope they'd be based on standards more stringent than the one described.

***I'd bet that there are policies in place that were reviewed by multiple lawyers before the "Armadillo" had day one in the field.***

Perhaps, but they weren't noted in the article, which inspired my brief proviso, which in turn has lead to this thread.
Title: AELE journal
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 25, 2009, 10:10:02 AM
Note: If you would like to read this e-mail in color with live links, go to http://www.aele.org/alert-email.html

You are welcome to forward this e-mail; please encourage your colleagues to sign up for periodic mailings at http://www.aele.org/e-signup.html 

1. The August 2009 issue of the AELE Monthly Law Journal is online, with four new articles.

Persons interested in contributing an article should contact AELE.

* Public Protection: Injured Crime and Accident Victims

What are a police officer's legal obligations when encountering a member of the public who is an injured victim of a crime or accident?

View at http://www.aele.org/law/2009-08MLJ101.html

* Validity of Settlement Agreements Containing a "Will Not Reapply for Employment" Provision

If a settlement is successfully negotiated, management sometimes insists that the plaintiff resign and promise not to reapply.

Without such an agreement, if the person's subsequent reemployment application is denied, it will inevitably result in another lawsuit.

View at http://www.aele.org/law/2009-08MLJ201.html

* Transsexual Prisoners: Medical Care Issues

Issues raised in litigation have included requests for sex change surgery, requests for beginning or continuing hormone therapy, and what medical and psychological services are necessary and appropriate to provide.

Viewable at http://www.aele.org/law/2009-08MLJ301.html

* Civil Rights Liability for Intentional Violations of Miranda - Part Two: Criminal Admissibility

In 2003, the California Supreme Court held that a coerced confession is inadmissible for impeachment purposes in a criminal trial. In 2008, the Ninth Circuit concluded that a confession was coerced even though adequate Miranda warnings were given. By Michael P. Stone and Marc Berger. 

http://www.aele.org/law/2009-08MLJ501.html

2. The August issues of AELE's three periodicals have been uploaded.

The current issues, back issues since 2000, three 30+ year case digests, and a search engine are FREE. Everyone is welcome to read, print or download AELE publications without charge.

The main menu is at: http://www.aele.org/law 

Among the 90 new cases summarized under 67 different topics, there are several that warrant mention here:

*** Law Enforcement Liability Reporter ***

* Handcuffs

Officers acted reasonably with respect to the force used while handcuffing an arrestee. While he contended that their actions had caused him shoulder injuries, the court noted that he refused to put his hands behind his back, and merely explained that he thought it would "hurt." He did not tell the officers about any purported infirmities or pre-existing injury that could be aggravated by handcuffing. Stainback v. Dixon, #08-3563, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 14115 (7th Cir.).  http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/7th/083563p.pdf

* Stun Guns/Tasers

UCLA has entered into a $220,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed by a student who a campus police officer repeatedly shocked with a Taser after he refused to show his identification card upon request. The student, who is Iranian-American, argued that he was treated this way because of his Middle Eastern appearance. Tabatabainejad v. Univ. of Cal. L.A., #2:07-cv-00389, U.S. Dist. Court (C.D. Calif.).

http://www.aele.org/law/2009all08/tabatabainejad.pdf

*** Fire and Police Personnel Reporter ***

* Disciplinary Punishment - Sexual Misconduct

In an appeal where an FBI agent was fired for videotaping sexual encounters with women without their consent, a federal appeals court remanded the case to the Merit Systems Protection Board for further adjudication. One judge wrote that he would have reversed the Board outright on the ground that the agency failed to establish a nexus between the charged conduct and the efficiency of the service.

The majority held that the Board failed to articulate a meaningful standard as to when private dishonesty rises to the level of misconduct that adversely affects the "efficiency of the service." The articulation of a meaningful standard is necessary particularly in light of the apparent conflict between the FBI's policy on investigating personal relationships and its policies requiring their agents to act with integrity and honesty. Doe v. DoJ, #2008-3139, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 10031 (Fed. Cir.). http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/opinions/08-3139.pdf

*** Jail and Prisoner Law Bulletin ***

* Inmate Funds

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that state prison officials can take money from inmate trust accounts to collect court fees owed and other costs without first notifying a prisoner. Due process was not violated, as the prisoners received "contemporaneous" notice of the withdrawal of the money, and the Constitution does not require pre-withdrawal notice. Harrell v. State of Texas, No. 07-0806, 2009 Tex. Lexis 321.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=tx&vol=/sc/070806&invol=1 

3. Tasers

Report of the American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Science and Public Health on "Use of Tasers by Law Enforcement Agencies."

View at http://www.aele.org/law/2009all08/06-15-09_AMA_TASER_ECD_Resolution[1].pdf   

AELE has a free search tool covering our database of 28,000 case summaries, since 1975.

http://www.aele.org/htdig/common/search.html

 
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Title: Verbal Judo
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 29, 2009, 11:33:06 AM
7 Things Cops Should Never Say To Anyone
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By Dr. George Thompson

7. "HEY YOU! COME HERE!"

Consider, you are on patrol and you see someone suspicious you want to talk
with, so you most naturally say, "Hey you! Come here!" Verbal Judo teaches
that "natural language is disastrous!" and this provides a wonderful
example. You have just warned the subject that he is in trouble. "Come here"
means to you, "Over here, you are under my authority." But to the subject it
means, "Go away-quickly!" The words are not tactical for they have provided
a warning and possibly precipitated a chase that would not have been
necessary had you, instead, walked casually in his direction and once close
said, "Excuse me. Could I chat with momentarily?" Notice this question is
polite, professional, and calm.

Also notice, you have gotten in close, in his "space" though not his "face,"
and now you are too close for him to back off, giving you a ration of verbal
trouble, as could have easily been the case with the "Hey you! Come here!"
opening.

The ancient samurai knew never to let an opponent pick the place of battle
for then the sun would always be in your eyes! "Come here" is loose, lazy,
and ineffective language. Easy, but wrong. Tactically, "May I chat with you"
is far better, for not only have you picked the place to talk, but anything
the subject says, other than yes or no-the question you asked-provides you
with intelligence regarding his emotional and/or mental state. Let him start
any 'dance' of resistance.

Point: Polite civility can be a weapon of immense power!



6. "CALM DOWN!"

Consider this verbal blunder. You approach some angry folks and you most
naturally say, "Hey, calm down!" This command never works, so why do we
always use it? Because it flows naturally from our lips!

What's wrong with it? One, the phrase is a criticism of their behavior and
suggests that they have no legitimate right to be upset! Hence, rather than
reassuring them that things will improve, which should be your goal, you
have created a new problem! Not only is there the matter they were upset
about to begin with, but now they need to defend their reaction to you!
Double the trouble!

Better, put on a calming face and demeanor-in Verbal Judo we say, 'Chameleon
up'-look the person in the eye and say, gently, "It's going to be all right.
Talk to me. What's the matter?" The phrase "What's the matter?' softens the
person up to talk and calm down; where 'Calm down' hardens the resistance.
The choice is yours!

5. "I'M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU AGAIN!"

We teach in Verbal Judo that 'repetition is weakness on the streets!' and
you and I both know that this phrase is almost always a lie. You will say it
again, and possibly again and again!

Parents do it all the time with their kids, and street cops do it with
resistant subjects, all the time! The phrase is, of course, a threat, and
voicing it leaves you only one viable option-action! If you are not prepared
to act, or cannot at the time, you lose credibility, and with the loss of
creditability comes the loss of power and safety!

Even if you are prepared to act, you have warned the subject that you are
about to do so and forewarned is forearmed! Another tactical blunder! Like
the rattlesnake you have made noise, and noise can get you hurt or killed.
Better to be more like the cobra and strike when least suspected!

If you want to stress the seriousness of your words, say something like,
'Listen, it's important that you get this point, so pay close attention to
what I'm about to tell you.'

If you have used Verbal Judo's Five Steps of Persuasion you know that we act
after asking our "nicest, most polite question,"

"Sir, is there anything I could say that would get you to do A, B and C? I'd
like to think so?"

If the answer is NO, we act while the subject is still talking! We do not
telegraph our actions nor threaten people, but we do act when verbal
persuasion fails.

4. "BE MORE REASONABLE!"

Telling people "be more reasonable" has many of the same problems as "Calm
Down!" Everyone thinks h/she is plenty reasonable given the present
circumstances! I never have had anyone run up to me and say, "Hey, I know I'm
stupid and wrong, but here's what I think!" although I have been confronted
by stupid and wrong people! You only invite conflict when you tell people to
"be more reasonable!"

Instead, make people more reasonable by the way in which you handle them,
tactically! Use the language of reassurance-"Let me see if I understand your
position," and then paraphrase-another VJ tactic!-back to them their
meaning, as you see it, in your words! Using your words will calm them and
make them more reasonable because your words will (or better be!) more
professional and less emotional.

This approach absorbs the other's tension and makes him feel your support.
Now you can help them think more logically and less destructively, without
making the insulting charge implied in your statement, "Be more reasonable!"

Again, tactics over natural reaction!

3. "BECAUSE THOSE ARE THE RULES" (or "THAT'S THE LAW!")

If ever there was a phrase that irritates people and makes you look weak,
this is it!

If you are enforcing rules/laws that exist for good reason, don't be afraid
to explain that! Your audience may not agree with or like it, but at least
they have been honored with an explanation. Note, a true sign of REspect is
to tell people why, and telling people why generates voluntary compliance.
Indeed, we know that at least 70% of resistant or difficult people will do
what you want them to do if you will just tell them why!

When you tell people why, you establish a ground to stand on, and one for
them as well! Your declaration of why defines the limits of the issue at
hand, defines your real authority, but also gives the other good reason for
complying, not just because you said so! Tactically, telling people why gets
your ego out of it and put in its place a solid, professional reason for
action.

Even at home, if all you can do is repeat, "those are the rules," you sound
and look weak because you apparently cannot support your order/request with
logic or good reason. Indeed, if you can put rules or policies into context
and explain how the rules or policies are good for everyone, you not only
help people understand, you help them save face. Hence, you are much more
likely to generate voluntary compliance, which is your goal!

2. "WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM?"

This snotty, useless phrase turns the problem back on the person needing
assistance. It signals this is a "you-versus-me" battle rather than an "us"
discussion. The typical reaction is, "It's not my problem. You're the
problem!"

The problem with the word problem is that it makes people feel deficient or
even helpless. It can even transport people back to grade school where they
felt misunderstood and underrated. Nobody likes to admit h/she has a
problem. That's a weakness! When asked, "what's your problem?" the other
already feels a failure. So the immediate natural reaction is, "I don't have
one, you do!" which is a reaction that now hides a real need for help.

Substitute tactical phrases designed to soften and open someone up, like
"What's the matter?", "How can I help?", or "I can see you're upset, let me
suggest . . . ."

Remember, as an officer of peace, it is your business to find ways to gather
good intel and to help those in need, not to pass judgments.



1. "WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO ABOUT IT?"

A great cop-out (no pun.)! This pseudo-question, always accompanied by
sarcasm, is clearly an evasion of responsibility and a clear sign of a lack
of creativity! The phrase really reveals the speaker's exasperation and lack
of knowledge. Often heard from untrained sales clerks and young officers
tasked with figuring out how to help someone when the rules are not clear.

When you say, "What do you want me to do about it?" you can count on two
problems: the one you started with and the one you just created by appearing
to duck responsibility.

Instead, tactically offer to help sort out the problem and work toward a
solution. If it truly is not in your area of responsibility, point the
subject to the right department or persons that might be able to solve the
problem.

If you are unable or unqualified to assist and you haven't a clue as to how
to help the person, apologize. Such an apology almost always gains you an
ally, one you may need at same later date. Beat cops need to remember it is
important to "develop a pair of eyes" (contacts) every time they interact
with the public. Had the officer said to the complainant, for example, "I'm
sorry, I really do not know what to recommend, but I wish I did, I'd like to
help you," and coupled that statement with a concerned tone of voice and a
face of concern, he would have gone a long way toward making that person
more malleable and compliant for the police later down the road.

Remember, insult strengthens resistance and shuts the eyes. Civility weakens
resistance and opens the eyes!

It's tactical to be nice!

Dr. George J. Thompson is the President and Founder of the Verbal Judo
Institute, a tactical training and management firm now based in Auburn, NY.
For full details on Dr. Thompson's work and training, please visit the
Verbal Judo Web Site.

http://www.verbaljudo.com/
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on October 07, 2009, 07:04:28 AM
http://www.chieftain.com/articles/2009/10/07/news/local/doc4acc29cd2ab14476835105.txt

Suspected bomber arrested without incident


CHIEFTAIN PHOTO/CHRIS McLEAN -- Pueblo County sheriff’s investigators look over the Pueblo West home of police officer Nathan Pruce on Tuesday. A propane tank attached to Pruce’s garage spewed gas into the home.


Nathan Pruce


Robert Howard Bruce

Search ends for sex-assault suspect who faced trial Tuesday with officer Nathan Pruce as key witness.By PABLO CARLOS MORA, JEFF TUCKER and JUAN ESPINOSA
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
A man sought in connection with an attempt to blow up a police officer’s Pueblo West home was arrested Tuesday evening at the North Side Kmart.

Officers arrested Robert Howard Bruce, 47, about 6 p.m. without any resistance, while checking the area, according to Laurie Kilpatrick, a spokeswoman with the Pueblo Sheriff’s Department. No other details were released.

Bruce was the subject of an intensive manhunt Tuesday afternoon after he reportedly attempted to blow up the home of Pueblo officer Nathan Pruce.

Bruce failed to show up for the trial Tuesday at which Pruce was to testify.

While leaving his Los Charros Drive home at 9:22 a.m. Tuesday morning, Pruce noticed a propane tank in his driveway with a line running into a garage wall, Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor said. “An improvised explosive device was found attached to officer Pruce’s home,” Taylor said. “The Metro Bomb Squad found very high readings of some kind of explosive in the house.”

Pruce left his home and nearby Cedar Ridge Elementary School was locked down as a precaution, Taylor said.

“The bomb squad opened doors and windows to vent the substance from the house. After the house was cleared by the bomb squad, the fire department checked the home and found it safe,” Taylor said.

Cedar Ridge Elementary was released from lockdown at noon.

Bruce was arrested by officer Pruce in the early morning on July 17, 2007, after neighbors reported a prowler in the Belmont neighborhood.

Bruce was charged with unlawful sexual contact-peeping Tom and second-degree trespassing, both misdemeanors.

Pruce arrested Bruce after he led police on a foot chase and a brief car chase through Belmont.

According to Bruce's arrest affidavit, Pruce found a metal pipe used for smoking drugs and a small amount of marijuana on him, and admitted to looking in the victim's window.

The report indicated the victim said she went to a room next to her bedroom after she heard a noise, peeked outside the window and saw Bruce walking around her backyard.

Police also found a chair placed outside the window.

pmora@chieftain.com


jtucker@chieftain.com



juane@chieftain.com

Title: Taser
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 22, 2009, 06:21:40 AM
Taser International is advising police agencies across the nation not to shoot its stun guns at a suspect's chest.

The Arizona-based company says such action poses a risk - albeit extremely low - of an "adverse cardiac event."

The advisory was issued in an Oct. 12 training bulletin. It marks the first time that Taser has suggested there is any risk of a cardiac arrest related to the use of its 50,000-volt stun guns.

Taser officials said Tuesday the bulletin does not state that Tasers can cause cardiac arrest. They said the advisory means only that law-enforcement agencies can avoid controversy if their officers aim at areas other than the chest.

Critics called it a stunning reversal for the company.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: c - Shadow Dog on October 22, 2009, 07:52:21 AM
asp stock will go up 20 points on this kind of announcement  http://www.asp-net.com/bookpages/catalog_2009.html#batons (http://www.asp-net.com/bookpages/catalog_2009.html#batons) :lol:

Serriously though other then chest/ torso  It will dificult to place that shot.  It has always seemed like a mid mast shot on purpose,
not aimed.

I could be very wrong.

also doesnt the shot closer to arms or legs make it easier for the libms to wrap cords and pull out the prong?

I dont know the answeres to any of this just speculating out loud.

Who are our experts on this ?


Here is a good vid of a non civilian use http://www.taser.com/pages/VideoDetails.aspx?videoid=78 (http://www.taser.com/pages/VideoDetails.aspx?videoid=78)
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 22, 2009, 08:53:01 AM
IIRC on the DBMA Assn site there is a clip of me getting tased by Southnark  :lol:
Title: Choked Out in a Chair
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on November 05, 2009, 09:15:27 AM
Corrections Officer about gets choked out before other inmates intervene. Curious how others think they would have played this scenario. Looks to me like some more situational awareness was in order, that the office shouldn't have wasted time trying to get his feet under him and instead should have used the attributes of a rolling chair to his advantage, and, once controlled should have rolled off the chair and made his attacker support his weight as he worked position.

http://www.freedomslighthouse.com/2009/11/florida-deputy-caught-in-inmates-choke.html
Title: Hooray for "Mighty Mouse" !
Post by: G M on November 11, 2009, 09:14:26 PM
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gg6eU0tbg2x0lwxLrQJ3TxbiL9CQ

My wife, who is 5 weeks away from graduating from a police academy, is very inspired by this story.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 12, 2009, 07:10:07 AM
As well she should.  Munley acted bravely and is a hero.  That said, I search for Truth and as such note with a touch of irritation a bit of the Jessica Lynch syndrome here.  Note how the article refuses to candidly say that, contrary to initial reports, that it was Munley's partner who scored the kill.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 13, 2009, 02:44:03 AM
KILLEEN, Tex. — Sgt. Kimberly D. Munley has been applauded as a hero across the nation for shooting down Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan during the bloody rampage at Fort Hood last week. The account of heroism, given by the authorities, attracted the attention of newspapers, the networks and television talk shows.


But the initial story of how she and the accused gunman went down in an exchange of gunfire now appears to be inaccurate.

Another officer, Senior Sgt. Mark Todd, 42, said in an interview Thursday that he fired the shots that brought down the gunman after Sergeant Munley was seriously wounded. A witness confirmed Sergeant Todd’s account.

In the interview, Sergeant Todd said he and Sergeant Munley had pulled up to the scene in separate cars at the same time. He said they began running up a small hill toward the building that held the processing center where unarmed soldiers reported for check-ups and vaccinations before deployment. The gunman was already outside, Sergeant Todd recalled.

“That’s when the bystanders were pointing in his direction,” he said. “And when we popped up, he was standing there, and we shouted our commands — ‘Police, drop your weapons!’ — and he just opened fire on us.”

Sergeant Todd said he was slightly in front of Sergeant Munley on the hill. “Once we took fire, she broke right and I broke left,” he said.

Sergeant Todd said he did not see Sergeant Munley get shot. He said he started to circle around the building, but then backtracked as panicked bystanders told him of the gunman’s movements.

“As it unfolded, I went a different direction and he went a different direction, and we met up in the front of the building,” he said.

Sergeant Todd said he then saw Sergeant Munley on the ground, wounded. He shouted again at the gunman to drop his weapon.

“Once I came around the front of the building, I caught his attention again, started shouting commands, and then he opened up a second time,” Sergeant Todd said. “And that’s when I returned fire, neutralized him and secured him.”

Citing the ongoing investigation, Sergeant Todd declined to give more details about the precise positions of Major Hasan, Sergeant Munley and himself during the gunfight. He also would not say how many times he shot Major Hasan with his 9 mm pistol, or what Major Hasan was doing. The whole encounter lasted only 45 seconds, he said.

Sergeant Todd’s account agrees with that of a witness who was at the processing center when the shooting occurred.

The witness, who asked not to be identified, said Major Hasan wheeled on Sergeant Munley as she rounded the corner of a building and shot her. Then Major Hasan turned his back and started putting another magazine into his semiautomatic pistol.

Sergeant Todd then rounded another corner of the building, found Major Hasan fumbling with his weapon and shot him, the witness said.

How the authorities came to issue the original version of the story, which made Sergeant Munley a national hero for several days and obscured Sergeant Todd’s role, remains unclear. (Military officials also said for several hours after the shooting that Major Hasan had been killed; he survived.)

Six days after the shooting, the military has yet to put out a full account of what happened.

On Thursday, Christopher Grey, a spokesman for Army Criminal Investigation Command, told reporters that Sergeants Todd and Munley both “engaged the armed suspect.”

“I would caution you from drawing final conclusions until all the evidence is analyzed,” Mr. Grey said at a news conference at Fort Hood, where he announced that Major Hasan had been charged in a military court with 13 counts of premeditated murder.

On Wednesday, Lt. Col. John Rossi, the fort’s deputy commander, refused to take questions about who shot Major Hasan or why the initial reports said it had been Sergeant Munley rather than Sergeant Todd.

“These questions are specific to the investigation, and I am not going to address that,” Colonel Rossi said.

Public affairs officials also declined to make Chuck Medley, the director of emergency services at the post, available. It was Mr. Medley, who oversees the post’s civilian police and fire departments, who gave the first account of how Sergeant Munley stopped the gunman.

========

Page 2 of 2)



On Tuesday night, Lt. Col. Lee Packnett, an Army spokesman, declined to say whether it was Sergeant Todd who had shot Major Hasan. “It could have been, but the final outcome will be determined by the results of the ballistics tests.” Colonel Lee said.


On Wednesday, Sergeant Todd’s wife, Lisa, said her husband had asked the Army to protect his identity immediately after the shootings.
Asked in the interview whether he had asked to be kept out of the limelight, Sergeant Todd said: “Initially I wanted to stay pretty low key. This is a tragic event. I don’t think the attention should be on me. The medics are the ones who saved everybody’s life.”

Sergeant Todd and Sergeant Munley offered their first public comments on the shooting Wednesday on the “Oprah Winfrey Show.” They did not give a detailed chronology of what happened, nor did they say who had fired and hit the suspect.

Both are members of the civilian police force at Fort Hood.

Sergeant Todd said on the talk show that after he had fired at the suspect, he kicked his weapon away and placed him in handcuffs. He said it was the first time in his 25 years in law enforcement and the military that he had used his weapon.

“I just relied back on my training,” Sergeant Todd said. “We’re trained to shoot until there is no longer a threat. And once he was laying down on his back, his weapon just fell into his hand and I’m, like, ‘O.K., now’s the time to rush him and secure him.’ “

The confusion over what happened and the quickness of the military to label someone a hero seemed reminiscent of the case of Pfc. Jessica Lynch in 2003, when the Army initially reported that Private Lynch had been captured in Iraq after a Rambo-like performance in which she emptied her weapon and was wounded in battle. It was later learned she had been badly hurt in a vehicle accident during an ambush and was being well cared for by the Iraqis.

On Friday, the day after the Fort Hood shooting, Mr. Medley said Sergeant Munley had encountered Major Hasan, pistol in hand, chasing down a bleeding soldier. She fired at him, he turned, they rushed at each other firing and both fell, Mr. Medley said.

“He turned and charged her rapidly firing, and she did what she was trained to do,” Mr. Medley said that day. He added, “She is absolutely a hero.”

Several hours later, Colonel Rossi expanded upon the story slightly in speaking to reporters. He said Sergeant Todd had arrived at the scene in the middle of the gunfight and had also fired his weapon.

The witness, however, offered a detailed account. He said he was walking in a roadway between the main building, known as the Sportsdome, and five smaller buildings. Major Hasan was headed toward the main building, the witness said, when Sergeant Munley came around the corner of a smaller building. Major Hasan wheeled on her and shot her several times, the witness said. It was unclear whether she squeezed off a shot or not, but she fell over backward, with wounds in her legs and her wrist, the witness said.

Major Hasan then turned his back and began to shove another magazine into his pistol. He did not appear wounded, the witness said. A few seconds later, Sergeant Todd came around another corner of the same building, raised his weapon and fired several times at Major Hasan, who pitched over backward and stopped moving.

“He shot her, turned away from her and was reloading when he was shot,” said the witness, who was nearby.

On the Winfrey show, Sergeant Munley, 35, said the incident was confusing and chaotic. “There were many people outside pointing to where this individual was apparently located,” she said. “When I got out of my vehicle and ran up the hill, that’s when it started getting bad and we started encountering fire.”

Sergeant Todd, a native of San Diego, has spent most of his adult life as a military police officer in the Army. A specialist in training police dogs, he left the military police in 2007, after 25 years, to join the civilian force at Fort Hood. He has served at four bases in the United States and two in Germany. Joining the civilian force at Fort Hood was supposed to be a second, quieter career for him, he said in the interview.

He said he was not troubled about having shot Major Hasan, whose pistol, he said, ”looked like a howitzer” in his hand.

“There is a certain amount of fear, but you have to control it,” Sergeant Todd said. “You rely on your training, and your training takes over.”
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Rarick on November 13, 2009, 02:13:42 PM
On the Armadillo-  I think in some ways it is playing judge, jury and executioner.  Specifically parking it right in front of a house and knocking on the door "THIS is for YOU" in some ways it is like pointing a gun. Given the apparent lack of due process, since it is being "targeted at a  citizen" marking them I would interpret as a violation of civil rights.  If it was of a more general nature "we have been getting a lot of complaints for this area, we are placing a witness that does not care either way" then there is no expectation of privacy or possible violation of rights.

Yes, pulling the curtains is a solution, but if you are being "marked" by the police, then being branded a criminal, without due process would be an issue.  THAT is what this truck is doing.  The folks in that town appear to like that kind of use, so their town, their rules.

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on November 13, 2009, 03:56:39 PM
Hoo-boy.  :roll:

Ok Rarick, where in the US constitution, statute or caselaw does it restrict the police from parking a police vehicle on a PUBLIC STREET for the purpose of surveilling potential criminal activity in a location that is visible from a PUBLIC STREET?

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on November 13, 2009, 04:04:56 PM
http://definitions.uslegal.com/o/open-field-doctrine/

Open Field Doctrine Law & Legal Definition

The open field doctrine is a term used in criminal law to stand for the concept that anything plainly visible to the eye, even if it’s on private property, is subject to a search since it’s not hidden. Under this doctrine, consent to inspect the location is not required in order for a law enforcement officer to observe and report on things in plain view and include observations made. An open field is not an area protected under the Fourth Amendment, and there is no expectation of a right of privacy for an open field.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Rarick on November 14, 2009, 08:41:14 AM
Targeted survellance made obvious to the general public, on a single citizen?  It is like the game the press plays "guilty by public opinion".  I won't be a target for something like that, but that is probably the concept that people are feeling threatened over.  Legal or not.

Have a hoo-boy day.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on November 14, 2009, 09:14:32 AM
Ok, Rarick,

I guess you can't answer the question I posed.

How is placing the "Armadillo" in a location different that placing a police officer in that location, aside from cost to the taxpayers, related to 4th amd. issues?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on November 16, 2009, 01:22:29 AM
http://www.city-journal.org/2009/19_4_corruption.html

Judith Miller
The Mexicanization of American Law Enforcement
The drug cartels extend their corrupting influence northward.


Leslie Hoffman/AP Photo
Customs and Border Protection agents have been bought off by drug dealers.Beheadings and amputations. Iraqi-style brutality, bribery, extortion, kidnapping, and murder. More than 7,200 dead—almost double last year’s tally—in shoot-outs between federales and often better-armed drug cartels. This is modern Mexico, whose president, Felipe Calderón, has been struggling since 2006 to wrest his country from the grip of four powerful cartels and their estimated 100,000 foot soldiers.

But chillingly, there are signs that one of the worst features of Mexico’s war on drugs—law enforcement officials on the take from drug lords—is becoming an American problem as well. Most press accounts focus on the drug-related violence that has migrated north into the United States. Far less widely reported is the infiltration and corruption of American law enforcement, according to Robert Killebrew, a retired U.S. Army colonel and senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for a New American Security. “This is a national security problem that does not yet have a name,” he wrote last fall in The National Strategy Forum Review. The drug lords, he tells me, are seeking to “hollow out our institutions, just as they have in Mexico.”

**Reading this chilled me to the bone.**
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Rarick on November 16, 2009, 04:43:04 AM
Hoo Boy :roll:

After reading some more on this thread, this is a fight I chose not to fight.  I do not pick fights with true believers-it is futile.

If Body-by-Guiness couldn't make the point.  I, who you obviously have no respect for and far less posts on this board, have obviously lost before the conversation could ever begin.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on November 16, 2009, 06:05:05 AM
Rarick,

It's not a matter of not having respect for you as a person, but not having respect for an uninformed opinion. I get really tired of libertarian armchair theories on policing based on emotion and the most cursory of legal knowledge.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 16, 2009, 06:40:32 AM
Rarick:

More than once I have had GM present lucid questions/counter-arguments to my libertarian instincts that I have not been able to answer.  It can be quite infuriating.  Intuitively the point you make here makes complete sense to me, but OTOH I haven't a clue as to how to answer the specific counterpoint that GM makes.  Do you?

No doubt his communication technique could benefit on occasion from a tad more sugar-coating   :lol: but if you put that aside and simply stay with the merits, I suspect you will find it worth your time.

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on November 16, 2009, 06:48:58 AM
I will point out that i'm a small "l" libertarian. I don't want an orwellian police state. However, a key concept often forgotten is there is no freedom without the rule of law. Unless the laws are enforced, then individual freedoms are lost.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Rarick on November 16, 2009, 03:53:38 PM
Law is sometimes way to worshiped. Aside from a few of the "watch where you put your fist, dump your sewage, and which cow to slaughter" type of laws there aren't any others that are anything more than a government imposing restrictions.  The number of times I have come up with a way to start earning money for myself and end up walking into a brick wall of regulations is quite irritating.  It is getting so no one can breathe unless it is to the specified volume for the current activity, for a certain amount of time.  I know that I routinely break laws I do not know exist everyday- so do you and there in lies the problem.  It is not about making another law, it is knowing the intentions of the laws already there and applying what we got.

Justice, we can work on but say it is the LAW and YOU WILL COMPLY will shut me up and start the pine box measurement thoughts a ticking.  I know what the )&(%%$ law is and I do not need it pushed in my face again.   What are the ways we can handle a problem without making another one?  do we need to point force at a fellow citizen by parking a camera truck at his curb and mark him as a bad actor without  due process?  I would rather see the police do something like drop a letter in the mail box "hey, community meeting at this time and place to hammer out an agreement about XXX we will mediate"   If the problematic parties do not show up, Then park the camera truck in their face.

The law is way to process oriented like a factory and has long ago lost its connection with justice.  The boys in the beltway still haven't figured it out.  You come across as one of them.

Sorry G. Crafty, but lawyers and lobbyists are a part of the problem from my point of view. I should not be forced to hire one out of self defense every time I talk to a cop or the government.  Both are our employees, but they do not act like it.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 16, 2009, 04:00:35 PM
"Sorry G. Crafty, but lawyers and lobbyists "

 :?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 18, 2009, 05:48:25 AM
Hat tip for this to Rachel:
=====================

« Reply #72 on: Today at 07:36:59 AM »     

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://33bits.org/2009/05/13/your-morning-commute-is-unique-on-the-anonymity-of-homework-location-pairs/

Your Morning Commute is Unique: On the Anonymity of Home/Work Location Pairs

Philippe Golle and Kurt Partridge of PARC have a cute paper (pdf) on the anonymity of geo-location data. They analyze data from the U.S. Census and show that for the average person, knowing their approximate home and work locations — to a block level — identifies them uniquely.

Even if we look at the much coarser granularity of a census tract — tracts correspond roughly to ZIP codes; there are on average 1,500 people per census tract — for the average person, there are only around 20 other people who share the same home and work location. There’s more: 5% of people are uniquely identified by their home and work locations even if it is known only at the census tract level. One reason for this is that people who live and work in very different areas (say, different counties) are much more easily identifiable, as one might expect.

The paper is timely, because Location Based Services  are proliferating rapidly. To understand the privacy threats, we need to ask the two usual questions:

   1. who has access to anonymized location data?
   2. how can they get access to auxiliary data linking people to location pairs, which they can then use to carry out re-identification?

The authors don’t say much about these questions, but that’s probably because there are too many possibilities to list! In this post I will examine a few.

GPS navigation. This is the most obvious application that comes to mind, and probably the most privacy-sensitive: there have been many controversies around tracking of vehicle movements, such as NYC cab drivers threatening to strike. The privacy goal is to keep the location trail of the user/vehicle unknown even to the service provider — unlike in the context of social networks, people often don’t even trust the service provider. There are several papers on anonymizing GPS-related queries, but there doesn’t seem to be much you can do to hide the origin and destination except via charmingly unrealistic cryptographic protocols.

The accuracy of GPS is a few tens or few hundreds of feet, which is the same order of magnitude as a city block. So your daily commute is pretty much unique. If you took a (GPS-enabled) cab home from work at a certain time, there’s a good chance the trip can be tied to you. If you made a detour to stop somewhere, the location of your stop can probably be determined. This is true even if there is no record tying you to a specific vehicle.

ScreenshotLocation based social networking. Pretty soon, every smartphone will be capable of running applications that transmit location data to web services. Google Latitude and Loopt are two of the major players in this space, providing some very nifty social networking functionality on top of location awareness. It is quite tempting for service providers to outsource research/data-mining by sharing de-identified data. I don’t know if anything of the sort is being done yet, but I think it is clear that de-identification would offer very little privacy protection in this context. If a pair of locations is uniquely identifying, a trail is emphatically so.

The same threat also applies to data being subpoena’d, so data retention policies need to take into consideration the uselessness of anonymizing location data.

I don’t know if cellular carriers themselves collect a location trail from phones as a matter of course. Any idea?

Plain old web browsing. Every website worth the name identifies you with a cookie, whether you log in or not. So if you browse the web from a laptop or mobile phone from both home and work, your home and work IP addresses can be tied together based on the cookie. There are a number of free or paid databases for turning IP addresses into geographical locations. These are generally accurate up to the city level, but beyond that the accuracy is shaky.

A more accurate location fix can be obtained by IDing WiFi access points. This is a curious technological marvel that is not widely known. Skyhook, Inc. has spent years wardriving the country (and abroad) to map out the MAC addresses of wireless routers. Given the MAC address of an access point, their database can tell you where it is located. There are browser add-ons that query Skyhook’s database and determine the user’s current location. Note that you don’t have to be browsing wirelessly — all you need is at least one WiFi access point within range. This information can then be transmitted to websites which can provide location-based functionality; Opera, in particular, has teamed up with Skyhook and is “looking forward to a future where geolocation data is as assumed part of the browsing experience.” The protocol by which the browser communicates geolocation to the website is being standardized by the W3C.

The good news from the privacy standpoint is that the accurate geolocation technologies like the Skyhook plug-in (and a competing offering that is part of Google Gears) require user consent. However, I anticipate that once the plug-ins become common, websites will entice users to enable access by (correctly) pointing out that their location can only be determined to within a few hundred meters, and users will leave themselves vulnerable to inference attacks that make use of location pairs rather than individual locations.

Image metadata. An increasing number of cameras these days have (GPS-based) geotagging built-in and enabled by default. Even more awesome is the Eye-Fi card, which automatically uploads pictures you snap to Flickr (or any of dozens of other image sharing websites you can pick from) by connecting to available WiFi access points nearby. Some versions of the card do automatic geotagging in addition.

If you regularly post pseudonymously to (say) Flickr, then the geolocations of your pictures will probably reveal prominent clusters around the places you frequent, including your home and work. This can be combined with auxiliary data to tie the pictures to your identity.

Now let us turn to the other major question: what are the sources of auxiliary data that might link location pairs to identities? The easiest approach is probably to buy data from Acxiom, or another provider of direct-marketing address lists. Knowing approximate home and work locations, all that the attacker needs to do is to obtain data corresponding to both neighborhoods and do a “join,” i.e, find the (hopefully) unique common individual. This should be easy with Axciom, which lets you filter the list by  “DMA code, census tract, state, MSA code, congressional district, census block group, county, ZIP code, ZIP range, radius, multi-location radius, carrier route, CBSA (whatever that is), area code, and phone prefix.”

Google and Facebook also know my home and work addresses, because I gave them that information. I expect that other major social networking sites also have such information on tens of millions of users. When one of these sites is the adversary — such as when you’re trying to browse anonymously — the adversary already has access to the auxiliary data. Google’s power in this context is amplified by the fact that they own DoubleClick, which lets them tie together your browsing activity on any number of different websites that are tracked by DoubleClick cookies.

Finally, while I’ve talked about image data being the target of de-anonymization, it may equally well be used as the auxiliary information that links a location pair to an identity — a non-anonymous Flickr account with sufficiently many geotagged photos probably reveals an identifiable user’s home and work locations. (Some attack techniques that I describe on this blog, such as crawling image metadata from Flickr to reveal people’s home and work locations, are computationally expensive to carry out on a large scale but not algorithmically hard; such attacks, as can be expected, will rapidly become more feasible with time.)

devicesSummary. A number of devices in our daily lives transmit our physical location to service providers whom we don’t necessarily trust, and who keep might keep this data around or transmit it to third parties we don’t know about. The average user simply doesn’t have the patience to analyze and understand the privacy implications, making anonymity a misleadingly simple way to assuage their concerns. Unfortunately, anonymity breaks down very quickly when more than one location is associated with a person, as is usually the case.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on November 18, 2009, 08:46:01 AM
How does this apply to law enforcement?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 18, 2009, 10:26:21 AM
Well, I saw it as a continuation of the conversation in the larger sense of things-- but you are right, there is some topic drift here :lol:
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on December 05, 2009, 06:55:04 AM
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/12/04/the-war-on-cops/

The war on cops
By Michelle Malkin  •  December 4, 2009 09:22 AM Maurice Clemmons had many enablers — starting in Arkansas with clemency-crazy Mike Huckabee and stretching to Washington state where he was surrounded by people who witnessed his threats against law enforcement and did nothing to stop the Lakewood PD massacre. This week, police charged four family and friends with aiding him and plan to indict two more. My column today steps back and looks at the past year of violence against police officers and the cultural war that has been waged against them for the past several decades. The Left has a popular mantra: “Stop the hate.” Why don’t they start applying it to the men and women who protect and serve?

***

The war on cops
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2009


Faces of the fallen: Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39; Officers Ronald Owens, 37; Tina Griswold, 40; Gregory Richards, 42.

The Left’s police-hating chickens are coming home to roost. While partisan liberals have gone out of their way to blame conservative media and the Tea Party movement for creating a “climate of hate,” they are silent on the cultural and literal war on cops that has raged for decades – and escalated tragically this year.

The total number of law enforcement officers shot and killed this year is up 19 percent over last year, according to the Christian Science Monitor. More officers have died in ambush incidents this year than any other since 2000. The Lakewood, Washington massacre on Thanksgiving weekend claimed the lives of four dedicated officers getting ready for work at a coffee shop Sunday morning. Maurice Clemmons – the violent career thug who received clemency from former Arkansas GOP governor Mike Huckabee and benefited from fatal systemic lapses in the criminal justice system – had many other enablers.

Clemmons had told numerous friends and family members to “watch the TV” before the massacre because he was going to “kill a bunch of cops.” The witnesses did worse than nothing. Several have been arrested for actively aiding and abetting Clemmons – with shelter, food, money, and medical aid — before he was discovered in Seattle early Tuesday morning and shot after threatening a patrol officer investigating Clemmons’ stolen vehicle.



A militant online group called the National Black Foot Soldier Network celebrated Clemmons as a “Crowned BOW (Black on White) Martyr” and dubbed the Lakewood ambush a “preemptive strike on terrorists.” It wasn’t the only chilling propaganda cheering black-on-white police murders in the Pacific Northwest this year.

 Just three weeks before the Lakewood, Wa., massacre, the region endured another police attack. Suspect Christopher Monfort was arrested last month in the targeted shooting death of Seattle Police Department Officer Timothy Brenton and the wounding of his partner Britt Sweeney. Monfort had written diatribes against law enforcement harping against white policemen.

The leader of a Seattle hip-hop/punk band commemorated the assassination with a t-shirt depicting Monfort’s face splattered with blood and overlaid with a Seattle Police Department badge under the slogan “Deliver Us From Evil.” The other side of the shirt read “most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamp.”



From where does the deadened and deadly callousness toward the thin blue line come?

How about years of cop-bashing rap from NWA’s “F**k tha Police” and Ice-T’s “Cop Killa” to Dead Prez’s “Police State” (“I throw Molotov cocktails at the precinct”) and The Game’s “911 is a Joke” (I ought to shoot fifty one officers for the fifty one times that boy was shot in New York”)?

Try the glamorization of poisonous anti-police domestic terrorist groups like the Weather Underground and the Black Panthers. Add in the mainstreaming of anti-police demagogues Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton (whose ex-wife and daughter were arrested last week after verbally abusing a Harlem cop and resisting arrest after running a red light). And toss in the global glorification of Death Row cop-killers Stanley “Tookie” Williams and Mumia abu Jamal by the Hollywood elite.

It is, in my mind, no coincidence that another of 2009’s bloodiest multiple-police shootings took place in Oakland – a hotbed of black nationalism/Free Mumia radicalism that gave us the likes of Angela Davis, Huey Newton, and Obama green jobs czar-turned-liberal think tank fellow Van Jones (whose “creative” activism and “energy” in the Bay Area won senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett’s heart). Four Oakland officers went down and one was injured when a convicted felon ambushed them during a routine traffic stop. Nearly 20,000 law enforcement officers and supporters from around the country filled a memorial event for the fallen.

President Obama — Chicago pal of police-targeting Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers and the convener of the national beer summit to indulge his race-baiting, police-bashing Harvard professor friend Henry Louis Gates — did not attend the service.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Rarick on December 05, 2009, 08:24:38 AM
The anger comes from "curbside manner" and that generates the songs, which inspire the marginals/ haters to act.  The police constantly treating everyone else as a criminal is really irritating, especially if they are the ones riding around trying to find people to "help out".
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on December 05, 2009, 08:29:57 AM
Right. You know this how?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Rarick on December 05, 2009, 09:01:55 AM
Have you ever enjoyed a traffic stop?  The authority that cops are trained to drip from every pore comes off pretty offensively to a lot of people.  Being offended is anger inducing is it not?   I have had the displeasure of working around some retired cops, who haven't dropped the role, I have changed jobs.   Call it personal experience if you wish.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on December 05, 2009, 09:15:52 AM
Have I enjoyed a traffic stop? I've been on both sides.

Is your skin so thin that getting stopped is offensive?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 05, 2009, 09:35:53 AM
Well, the couple of times I was thrown up against the wall were less than fun , , ,
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on December 05, 2009, 09:41:19 AM
Was that when you were going to or coming from Woodstock?  :wink:
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on December 05, 2009, 05:53:20 PM
Traffic stops always a danger for officers
0 Comments | Gazette, The (Colorado Springs), Dec 6, 2006 | by CARY LEIDER VOGRIN THE GAZETTE
There is no such thing as a "routine" traffic stop, say police officials and law enforcement organizations.

"Statistically, traffic stops and domestic disturbances are far and away the most dangerous things police officers do," said Jim Pasco, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Fraternal Order of Police, a police labor organization with 334,000 members.

"You have no idea who's in the car or what that person might have done, how they might be armed," Pasco said.

Officers stop thousands of cars each year. The 60 patrol deputies in the El Paso County Sheriff's Office issued about 17,500 traffic citations in 2005, said Lt. Clif Northam, spokesman for the department. This year, an estimated 18,000 have been written. Statistics for the Colorado Springs Police Department were not available Tuesday.


Police procedures involving traffic stops might vary slightly from department to department, but Richard Ashton of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, also in Washington, said there's one rule all officers must follow: Never be complacent under any circumstances.

"They should be thinking they want to go home safely tonight," said Ashton, who has a 33-year law enforcement background -- 24 of them as a police chief in Maryland.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Dog Howie on December 05, 2009, 07:36:10 PM
Is your skin so thin that getting stopped is offensive?

An old friend of mine and I were talking a few years back as he was getting ready to begin serving in the PA State Police. One of the things I'll always remember he said was that they were taught that their uniform, body and body language was their first weapon. (I assume first impressions weapon). I believe that one of the many very difficult jobs of a LEO is weilding their attributed power in a way that communicaates "authority" while at the same time not unintentionally escalating situations by inciting defensive responses from those involved in routine stops.

IMHO... Is it the responsibility of citizens to offer respect and humility when responding to authority, an authority "deserved" if for no other reason than the LEO has his job. It is also the responsibbility of the LEO to respect any citizen they encounter in a local  "stop" because the LEO, if for no other reason, is a public servant and thus they work for the person(s) they stop.

IMHO, depending on how the LEO handles things, a "routine stop" can indeed be extremely offensive in nature if the LEO is not very skilled or if they are insecure in weilding their authority. Personally I have encountered officers who are extremely professional and who present their authority in a manner that I perceive as resonable and fair. I've also encountered less skilled LEOS whose actions and demeanor convey inappropriate levels of agression and (indirectly then) could easily cause escalation to their situation.   I admire any cop wo can project his/her authority while at the same time coming off with a bit of humility. I'm not a cop and I don't play one on TV, but I'm not sure I could develop that balance if it was me.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on December 05, 2009, 08:04:27 PM
http://www.aele.org/law/2007-04MLJ501.pdf

A good primer on law enforcement and the use of force.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on December 05, 2009, 08:17:28 PM
http://www.policeone.com/patrol-issues/articles/1971100-Slain-Wash-officers-respected-for-careers-family-life/

Slain Wash. officers respected for careers, family life
By Jack Broom, Lynda V. Mapes, Bob Young and Susan Kelleher
Seattle Times


The four victims of Sunday morning's shooting were veteran officers who brought a range of talents to the fledgling Lakewood Police Department when it was created in 2004, according to Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar.

"This is a very difficult time for our families and our officers," he said. "Please keep our families and Lakewood Police in your prayers."

The slain officers "all have been outstanding professionals," he added.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on December 05, 2009, 08:21:59 PM
Street Survival Insights
with Dave Smith 


When insanity rules and 'understanding' trumps condemnation
I don’t like to write when I’m mad, but I have just been reading the details about the four murdered peacekeepers in Washington state; that’s right my lame-brained academician friends who no doubt will celebrate our loss as a blow for the “workers” of “Amerika,” they were peacekeepers!

Related Articles:

4 officers shot dead in Wash. coffee shop 'ambush'
Manhunt continues, motive unknown in Wash. coffeehouse ambush

Although several other cities are vying for the title, one could easily argue that the epicenter of left-wing insanity is the Seattle metro area. The Seattle area’s “National Night Out Against Police Brutality” resulted in four police vehicles being bombed by a fellow who later ambushed two officers killing one and wounding the other. According to reports, the four crimefighters sitting at a table in Lakewood, Wash. were assassinated as they sat working on their computers while their marked squad cars sat outside. For those of you not familiar with this beautiful Seattle suburb it is a model of diversity, compassion, and understanding!

“Understanding.” That is the element that will take centerstage in the mainstream press — it always does when an evil dirt bag kills cops or military personnel. We will delve into the background of the miscreant and find the social evil in our capitalist hell that triggered this act against the establishment. Just as the Fort Hood shooter has been labeled everything from dysfunctional to frightened to victimized (everything but being labeled the evil terrorist that he was), the implied blame ends up not at the feet of the bad actor but on our society as a whole.

Whenever possible, the act is also to be projected onto anyone who questions the “Workers Paradise” of social planning ideas. Thus the Church, the radio host, the former Speaker, all become principles in the crime. Thus for the social programmer, killing cops and military personnel becomes an intellectual exercise in blame with a duplicitous media happy to torture logic into submission as well. After graduating from Arizona with a degree in Political Science in the height of the Viet Nam self-flagellation era, I was amazed that there were any thinkers we call Conservative on the staff at all but there were a few.

The Left was busy even then planning a revolution and I remember deputies and officers bringing heavier firepower than we were issued to work on the July 4th, 1976. We had intelligence briefings that such left wing groups as the Weather Underground, Students for a Democratic Society, and others had stockpiled weapons and bombs and were coming for us, the cops, first. It was no fictional fantasy and young crime fighters need to understand that bombs did kill us back then and police stations were attacked and open revolt was constantly being promoted by such insanely violent radicals as Bernadette Dorn and Bill Ayers.

Bombs still kill us today, and multiple police killings attest to the threat of both the Left and Right Wing extremists but the Right Wing killers are immediately and properly condemned, reviled by all. But soon their crime is projected onto all who believe in such radical ideas as a God, guns, and religion! We will “understand” all others. The bombers of the Sixties and Seventies have become tenured heroes, Chicago Citizens of the Year, and close associates of some of our nation’s most powerful. Where the hell are the “question authority” t-shirts now? I have, however, seen a multitude of Che Guevara shirts and posters over the last year and when a mass murdering physician can become an academic icon we have lost our collective minds.

What are we to do? We are to stand vigilant, which means “awake” in Latin. We must maintain a vigil and continue to hunt for those who would hurt us and the innocent. We need to think like we did in the Seventies, not paranoid, but on watch. It is time to post a lookout, not just metaphorically but physically, someone always stands watch. Sit and park with your back to the wall. I was taught to put my gun in my lap when a vehicle suddenly drove up to mine…what were you taught? What do you practice? What do you actually do?

America’s political class, especially those whose constant lamentation about the police are featured on our propaganda-spewing media, must speak out against this violence; for a people in fear are not free, and the first step in destroying that security is targeting the warriors who make the streets safe. One only needs to look at the horrific losses of the Iraqi police to see where chaos reigns and thrives. I would remind us all of our own history and how cries of “kill the pigs” rang out throughout the late Sixties and Seventies as the first step in a more “just, fair, and moral society,” but our history is being properly corrected to match the model of self-loathing that fits today’s academia and urban political class.

America is a unique social experiment, a nation based not on ethnicity, tribe, clan, or religion, but on a collective idea. Learn our history, celebrate our freedoms, protect the innocent, hunt evil, and speak out for what you believe. We suffer a terrible loss again, in a year of terrible losses and I hope this nation can unite in revulsion of these acts and reverence for the sacrifice of these brave men and women. It is the very sense of who we are as a people that is at risk when we no longer celebrate the warriors, no longer remember the sacrifice, no longer condemn the evil. It is time to stop “understanding” and start condemning. If evil has no social stigma, if it is simply understood, prepare for more.

Tell this to the people. I know you already understand...



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As a police officer, Dave Smith has held positions in patrol, training, narcotics, SWAT, and management. Dave continues to develop new and innovative programs across the spectrum of police training needs designed to assist your agency and your personnel in meeting the challenges of policing in the new millennium. As a trainer, speaker, and consultant Dave brings with him unparalleled access to modern law enforcement trends. He is currently the senior Street Survival Seminar Instructor and Director of Video Training for PoliceOneTV. Visit Dave's website at www.jdbucksavage.com.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 05, 2009, 08:36:52 PM
Well, the couple of times I was thrown up against the wall were less than fun , , , 
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Was that when you were going to or coming from Woodstock?

=======================
In the early 70s when I was the only white guy in a 9 man band in North Philadelphia  :-D
 
 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on December 05, 2009, 08:41:00 PM
Uhhhhh..... How much do you actually remember from that period of your life?  :-D
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 05, 2009, 09:33:37 PM
Smartass :lol:

Actually, I remember in favorable contrast an incident in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico where a lady friend and I drove off road in search of privacy.  As we were getting to leave a VW bug full of federales (Thompson submachine gun, some large revolvers) came rolling up and searched us and our vehicle , , , thoroughly.  When all was done and we were found to be clean, they APOLOGIZED and SHOOK OUR HANDS.   This took quite a bit of the sting of the indignity of it all away.  I have NEVER had an American LEO do that.

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Rarick on December 06, 2009, 05:29:13 AM
No apology-Ever.  The one that really screw up are usually swept under the rug.  I am thinking of the incident in Henderson, NV over a ticket on an ice cream truck..........  Apparently Seattle has had a few "rep enhancing" incidents too.   There is a habit of no apology, no admittance of a mistake, and no repair/ revision of policy moving forward.   It is not all the police's fault, shysters have some fault too, but there seems to be an increasing lack of accountability.  Maybe that is a perception pushed by the press, but that is what is generally out there.

There is an incident Near Duluth, MN where a man was arrested for tresspassing on his own property.  There is a pileline right of way that was negotiated under certain terms by his father.  This guy was talking with the construction folks who were just rolling thru his property against the agreed term.  The contruction folks called the cops..........The Cops violated his rights and arrested him.  Wonderful judgement there.

duluthnewstribune.com/event/tag/group/News/tag/crime/ (http://duluthnewstribune.com/event/tag/group/News/tag/crime/)  The site won't allow a direct link- the picture of the guy dressed in hunting orange.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on December 06, 2009, 07:12:30 AM
No apology-Ever.  The one that really screw up are usually swept under the rug.

**Really? Please cite an example and how you know this to be true.**
  I am thinking of the incident in Henderson, NV over a ticket on an ice cream truck.......... 

**Were you there? Did you see the shooting? What's your training in the realm of use of force by law enforcement? What do you base your opinion on?**

Apparently Seattle has had a few "rep enhancing" incidents too.  **Right. Again, please explain your source of information and training and experience on the topic of use of force and officer survival.**


 There is a habit of no apology, no admittance of a mistake, and no repair/ revision of policy moving forward.   It is not all the police's fault, shysters have some fault too, but there seems to be an increasing lack of accountability. **Seems, to your untrained, uninformed opinion.** 

Maybe that is a perception pushed by the press, but that is what is generally out there. **Bingo! You finally get to a bit of truth there.**

There is an incident Near Duluth, MN where a man was arrested for tresspassing on his own property.  There is a pileline right of way that was negotiated under certain terms by his father.  This guy was talking with the construction folks who were just rolling thru his property against the agreed term.  The contruction folks called the cops..........The Cops violated his rights and arrested him.  Wonderful judgement there.

duluthnewstribune.com/event/tag/group/News/tag/crime/ (http://duluthnewstribune.com/event/tag/group/News/tag/crime/)  The site won't allow a direct link- the picture of the guy dressed in hunting orange.

**I wasn't there, neither were you. If the arrest wasn't lawful, the arrestee will be getting a big check, most likely.**
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on December 06, 2009, 07:16:34 AM
http://blutube.policeone.com/Clip.aspx?key=A5F178EE61BC840A
 
http://blutube.policeone.com/Clip.aspx?key=49A6AB844E1A2AEA
 
http://blutube.policeone.com/Clip.aspx?key=FA90DABF3A18B8EF
 
http://blutube.policeone.com/Clip.aspx?key=6BEA0966EB2FCD74
 
http://blutube.policeone.com/Clip.aspx?key=5B9AF3C1F766C86C
 
http://blutube.policeone.com/Clip.aspx?key=B9F03F78E5430A8A

A little insight into the dangers related to traffic stops for those of you that haven't done the job.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on December 06, 2009, 07:42:28 AM

http://www.aaets.org/article59.htm

Trauma Response Profile
Beverly Anderson, Ph.D., B.C.E.T.S.

Joseph S. Volpe, Ph.D., F.A.A.E.T.S.
Director, Professional Development


For nearly 20 years, Dr. Beverly Anderson has provided psychological services to law enforcement agencies around the nation. She has consulted on traumatic stress to more than thirty international and national law enforcement organizations. Dr. Anderson has been a featured speaker on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for Good Morning America, CNN, and dozens of television news stations. She is featured in the Channel 4 News video"Cops Under Fire." She has been invited to present her research on Police Trauma Syndrome® to several organizations and groups including the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Dr. Anderson is the Clinical Director and Administrator of the Metropolitan Police Employee Assistance Program in Washington, D.C. Moreover, she is President of The American Academy of Police Psychology, an organization that is dedicated to addressing the unique concerns and stressors of the law enforcement community. Dr. Anderson is a Diplomate of The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and the Academy is privileged to have her serve on the Board of Scientific & Professional Advisors.

JSV: I know that you have been very committed to providing psychological services to law enforcement agencies for almost 20 years. Can you tell me about the positions that you currently hold?

BJA: I am the founding Clinical Director and Administrator of the Metropolitan Police Employee Assistance Program and have been since 1988. This program is unique in that it is a joint union-management approach to addressing the serious stress-related problems that are a direct result of policing. I do not work for the Police Department or the City. My contract is with the Fraternal Order of Police Labor Committee. The best part about this independence is that it ensures confidentiality. The records belong to me as a private clinician which facilitates trust in those whom we assist. We have 3,500 officers in the Washington Metropolitan Police Department. We are not an employee assistance program in the true sense. We are actually a long-term services program and provide individual therapy, family therapy, marital therapy, play therapy, and various group therapies including Veteran officers groups, alcoholism prevention and relapse groups, and weekly critical incident debriefing groups. With regard to this latter point, we have an average of two police-involved shootings per week. Subsequently, we have ongoing debriefings. Our police department must contend with one of the highest murder rates in the United States for a city of our size. Moreover, we have one of the highest rates of ambushes and unprovoked attacks on police officers in the nation. There is a lot of gang violence, drug-related problems and the like. We have a situation here that demands all of the emotional resources of the force. We also do a lot of training. The foundation of our comprehensive program is based on training. We have a critical incident program that begins with the recruits in the police academy and involves family members. We are on call 24 hours a day. In fact, just this morning at 1:30am, I was paged to a police-involved shooting and had to go to the Homicide Division. I sat with the officer to assist with what is best referred to as defusing. This involves debriefing the officer after the shooting and then for six mandatory meetings within three months of the shooting. We are also engaged in research. We have done work with Dr. Frank Putnam from the National Institute of Mental Health on Secondary Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in the children of police officers. We are still compiling data. In working with police families over the years, we have noted a preponderance of symptoms in the children to include hyperactivity and attentional problems. I believe that this is a direct result of experiencing the effects of parental exposure to trauma.

JSV: As you are aware, The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress is a multidisciplinary organization comprised of professionals from over one hundred forty specialties. Many of these individuals respond on the "front lines" of risk and, at times, danger which are significant stressors. How does law enforcement stress differ from other occupational groups such as firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)?

BJA: The first thing that comes to my mind is the public response to firefighters and EMTs. For the most part, it is a very positive response when compared to the police. Think of being stopped by a police officer for speeding, for example, and you think that you are going to get a ticket. One of the first things that you may do is try to get out of it, be nice, or lie. The public mind set toward the police officer seems to be more negative. Although there is a clear danger potential in all of these groups, the danger is different for police officers. As the level of violence in this country escalates, the echos of that violence reverberate throughout the police community. Unprovoked attacks on police officers are at an all-time high. Just a year ago, D.C. Master Patrol Officer Brian Gibson sat in his patrol car at a stop light and was shot execution style by a young man who was put out of a local night club by a police officer. Another example is Officer Wendall Smith who was exiting his vehicle after returning home from his evening shift. When the attackers saw that he was a police officer, they shot and killed him. In 1995, Scot Lewis was shot in the head and killed by a passerby while Officer Lewis and his partner were assisting a hearing-impaired person. The assailant then turned the gun on Scot's partner, Officer Keith Deauville who returned fire, fatally wounding the attacker. In these situations, the danger is not obvious and you don't know who is going to attack you. The police officer always has to be ready. That is why officers have what I call "cop-face" (the need to be hypervigilant). They have "cop-face" because they never know (when they have to move into action). The unpredictability of the job of policing is an added stressor. This means that the stress hormones need to remain elevated at some level (recall the General Adaptation Syndrome). The police officer is always looking for what is "wrong" in the picture. Shift work and midnight duties are common to other professions but the unpredictability and the violence make police work unique. You can add to this, a revolving-door justice system, with the person you locked up today, back on the street tomorrow. A police officer also has to contend with mixed messages from police administration. On one hand they are told to lock-up and arrest those involved with crime and, on the other hand, always remain professional while doing it. There is public scrutiny of police work, and at times, media misrepresentation of events. There is always a threat of civil law suits. There is significant stress associated with the use of deadly force - having to kill another human being. I have yet to meet an officer who is emotionally ready to kill another human being. Many officers say that the first thing that came to mind after they fired the fatal bullet was "Thou shall not kill." All of these stressors make police work different from other professions. Of course, the on-going, day-to-day exposure to murders, assaults, rapes, child abuse, domestic violence and "man's inhumanity to man" intensifies this stress-related burden.






JSV: What is the most significant stressor for police officers?

BJA: If you ask a police officer about the most significant stressor of policing, they often report "police administration." However, the nightmares they experience are not about administration. These nightmares are about the use of deadly force, shooting their guns, and being shot. It becomes apparent that the most considerable stressor is the constant exposure to trauma, especially over prolonged periods of time. However, problems regarding "police administration" are very real for officers and sometimes constitute the "second wound." Officers expect that the public and the media will mistreat them; they don't expect betrayal from the very organizations they risk their lives for every day.

JSV: This is quite consistent with combat veterans who serve multiple tours of duty.

BJA: This is absolutely correct and I think that you bring something out that is so much a part of the police experience. Without minimizing the trauma of combat, consider the following. During wartime, soldiers go to a foreign land, and are likely to remain there for six months to a year. Police officers are likely to see twenty years of peacetime combat, in their own country where they do not always know who the enemy is. The enemy could be anybody.

JSV: What is "Police Trauma Syndrome®" and why do you think that it has taken so long for its wrath to be examined in the trauma literature? What are the stages leading to this syndrome?

BJA: Police Trauma Syndrome® is a diagnostic term that I authored several years ago to depict the cluster of symptoms many police officers suffer as a direct result of the job of policing. It is now a registered trademark. In diagnosing trauma-related disorders with police officers, we have found great difficulty with the criteria set forth in both the DSM-III and DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). It has been problematic for us to use the DSM-III or DSM-IV criteria for police officers because they typically do not fit into the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) criteria per se. A police officer can witness, inside of one week, more trauma than most people see in a lifetime. Not only is it qualitatively different but also, quantitatively different. They see so much trauma. If you examine the first of the DSM-IV criterion (for PTSD), it states that the person's response to the event must involve intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Police officers are more often than not, the first responders to a scene. They have been tuned to dissociate from their emotions or suppress their emotions in order to be able to endure the scene. Theoretically, in most cases, police officers would not fulfill this first criterion. They are trained to respond behaviorally (not emotionally). Also, we tend to see a biphasic response which oscillates between anger or intrusive thoughts and numbing. We see extremes in their responses. This does not imply that police officers get used to being exposed to trauma, because we know that this is not the case. Chronic, long-term and cumulative stress takes its toll on police officers. When we talk about the issue of police brutality, it becomes clearer that the effects of such stress will come out one way or another. Police Trauma Syndrome® can result after a single, catastrophic event such as when an officer witnesses his partner being killed, and then having to defend his own life perhaps by killing the assailant. This could precipitate full-blown PTSD or Police Trauma Syndrome® in an officer. On the other hand, after years of traumatic exposure, Police Trauma Syndrome® can be triggered by an incident that is not immediately life-threatening, like the following incident.

A veteran officer with young children at home got a call to respond to an unconscious person. Well, what do you think of when you hear "unconscious person" - a street person, a person who is intoxicated, a stroke or heart attack victim? There is not too much warning in these situations. The officer goes into an apartment and there he finds an eight-month-old baby with a core body temperature of 106 degrees. He immediately begins mouth-to-mouth resuscitation because the baby is not breathing. The baby vomits sour milk into the officer's mouth. The ambulance finally gets there and the baby is taken to the hospital and dies. No one tells the officer what the baby has died of. He doesn't know if the baby is HIV positive, has meningitis, or is contagious! No one will talk with him because there has not yet been an autopsy. He goes home. Can he touch his children? He cannot look at his young baby without having intrusive thoughts and overwhelming feelings about the baby who had just died. In this case, the officer had an acute reaction and this triggered memories of other experiences and he was in a full-blown crisis. Another example is the veteran officer who had been on the scene of many suicides over the years. On one particular occasion, he began to tremble and hallucinate, and he experienced panic symptoms, etc. This was a person with 22 years on the force! There are so many factors involved. The important thing to convey about Police Trauma Syndrome® is that when a clinician sees this term, consider that the individual is suffering from events experienced primarily on the job. It is a direct result of the occupation of policing. Our veteran officers group has identified several stages leading to full-blown Police Trauma Syndrome®. (This group has been meeting for four years and is comprised of officers with 17 years or more on the Department. They have all been high achievers on the job but have paid a price emotionally). They have defined a five-stage model.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on December 06, 2009, 07:45:33 AM
In the first stage, the "Rookie" Stage, an officer is "shocked" by the world he sees - the violence, the neglect and cruelty toward children. He sees a world that he didn't know existed. The second stage is the "John Wayne" Stage and is marked by an uncertainty as to the "balance" of the badge. The officer is filling a role as he/she understands it. The "tough" image portrayed by the media cops is all that officers may know. The officer may take pride in owning all of the police gadgets. Their communicative style is primarily one of "commanding, ordering and directing." During the third stage, the "Professional" Stage, the officer has a good sense of his/her own identity. No matter how much verbal abuse they encounter, they remain courteous and in control (e.g., responding to an angry motorist he has just ticketed, you might hear, "Well, sir, I am sorry that you are making reference to my mother right now; however, you did go through that stop sign and I am required by law to cite you"). While for appearance's sake, this may seem problem-free, in actuality what's happening is that the officer may be "numbing" his natural emotions. "Dehumanizing" citizens as a coping mechanism will cost the officer in his personal life. Defense mechanisms that help an officer adapt to the job are maladaptive in his/her personal life.

These stages do not necessarily follow a consecutive pattern. Our experience has been that officers can jump from one stage back to an earlier stage. For example, a veteran officer who is in the "Professional" Stage may revert to the "Rookie" Stage upon witnessing a gruesome, traumatic event. We found this in many officers who responded to the Air Florida crash in 1982. The carnage and death they were exposed to that night and during the body recovery days after changed their lives. Many of the officers experienced the "Burnout" Stage which is number four in our model. Anger and contempt for the criminal justice system, the Department, politicians, and the citizens highlight this stage. The officer begins to isolate from family and friends - believing that they do not "have a clue" as to what the world is really like. The fifth and final stage is full-blown "Police Trauma Syndrome®." The individual is no longer able to function effectively as a police officer. This state is characterized by sleep problems, anxiety and/or depression, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, mood swings, rage attacks, social isolation, and a deterioration in relationships. The officer may consume alcohol or other drugs or experience an escalation in usage. Suicidal thoughts may arise. This condition is far more pervasive than one might think. Sadly, what usually happens, without intervention, is that the officer retires (if he/she can) and disappears into obscurity. We are working very hard to prevent Police Trauma Syndrome®.

JSV: What about the use of deadly force? For example, what do police officers go through after they are involved in a deadly shooting? Does the use of deadly force affect police officers more than other stressors?

BJA: Involvement in a police shooting may be the cataclysm of a police career. When I began working with officers, it was almost unheard of for an officer to be involved in a shooting. It was rare. Now in this city (Washington, D.C.), we average two police-involved shootings a week. There are many factors involved in the event that have to be examined. For example, was the officer injured? How lasting was the injury? Was the officer's partner injured or killed? Was the suspect killed? Who was the suspect - an adolescent, elderly person, a mentally ill person? How grotesque was the shooting? What was the physical proximity of the officer to the suspect? For instance, I remember one officer who told me how the suspect looked at him before he died and asked "why did you kill me?" That is what the officer will remember. Was the officer taken by surprise? For example, one minute the officer was giving directions to a citizen and the next, he has a gun pointed at him. Also, were other people in danger of being killed or injured? Was the use of deadly force appropriate or can the officer be potentially convicted of homicide? There is also the potential for civil liability. What is the officer's coping style? Is there substance abuse? Police officers oftentimes use self-destructive coping mechanisms such as drinking, gambling, workaholism, etc. What was the department's response to the shooting? Were they supportive or punitive? Some departments take an officer, remove his weapons, and place him in the back of the car. Who else goes in the back of the car? Suspects! What is the emotional impact on an officer when this happens? He feels that he must have done something wrong. Another factor that affects officers in the aftermath of a shooting is how the media handles the reporting of the shooting. So often, in their haste to report a story, the media will distort the facts and not usually to favor the police. Officers have a favorite phrase they use to describe the media, "Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story."

Immediately after a police shooting, a quick response by management and mental health personnel is crucial. Counselor support within hours of the shooting as well as follow-up services send a critical message: "You are important to this Department and this community." Follow-up services should also include the family. We have prepared a booklet for officers, officials and family members that discusses how to best manage police critical incidents.

JSV: Recently, in New York, there was a very unfortunate encounter for some police officers involving "Suicide-by-Cop" in which an individual, who apparently wanted to kill himself, pointed a plastic gun at officers and was, subsequently, fatally shot. In your experience, how often does this occur and how do you assist officers who confront such an event?

BJA: This is yet another very sad fact of life for law enforcement officers - one that happens all too often. The kind of individual who uses police officers for his/her own suicide will influence the officer's reaction. Individuals who commit heinous crimes and then precipitate an officer's use of deadly force will evoke a different response from an officer than a depressed adolescent who just wants to die and doesn't have the nerve to do it himself. The natural response for the officer is often one of anger. When a person makes a decision to point a gun at a police officer, that officer must react to protect his life. The public doesn't seem to understand this. Citizens will ask "couldn't you have shot him in the arm?" or "couldn't you shoot the gun out of his hand?" Our job is to help the officer place the responsibility on the person who caused this event. At the same time, we validate the normal feelings that accompany such a tragedy.

JSV: Police officers are often portrayed in the media as the "cool" and "calm," Clint Eastwood-type. In your opinion, what effect does such a stereotype have on officers, if any?

BJA: We have worked very hard to dispel that myth and it seems to be working with our younger officers. With officers on the job ten years or so, you see that macho-mystique portrayed in the Lethal Weapon movies. I remember Mel Gibson taunting the police psychologist in one particular movie after she had voiced concern for him. That image is not helpful for the public or the police. I have yet to meet a cop who has a "make my day" philosophy of policing. However, the rigid, macho mentality that does exist is a barrier to debriefing after a critical incident. In the long run, it makes the officer more vulnerable to the cumulative effects of traumatic exposure.

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on December 06, 2009, 08:18:46 AM
Force Science NewsForce Science News #133: Oregon Sergeant & District Attorney use creative approaches to help spread Force Science awareness

A police sergeant and a district attorney in Oregon have independently found new ways to spread Force Science insights about officer-involved shootings to broader audiences, to the benefit of law enforcement and civilians alike. Both hope that others with a vested interest in deadly force events will follow their lead in other jurisdictions.

The sergeant is Craig Allen, training supervisor for Hillsboro PD, an agency with 185 sworn located in Oregon’s Tualatin Valley in Portland’s suburban ring. A year ago, Allen graduated from the first U.S. certification course in Force Science Analysis, conducted in San Jose, CA, by the Force Science Institute, parent entity of the Force Science Research Center.
“I was so excited about what I’d learned about the scientific truths behind force encounters that when I got home I wanted to get the word out to as many people in law enforcement as I could,” Allen says. His chief, Lila Ashenbrenner, who regularly distributes copies of Force Science News to all the department’s supervisory staff, shared his enthusiasm.

Initially, the PD contracted with the Institute to sponsor a 2-day seminar on Force Science research findings, featuring FSRC’s executive director Dr. Bill Lewinski and a staff instructor, Sgt. Joshua Lego of the St. Paul (MN) Police Dept. Quickly, more than 50 representatives from agencies throughout the Pacific Northwest signed up.

In processing registrations earlier this month, it occurred to Allen that his department’s insurer, City County Insurance Services, based in the state capital, “might want to send some risk managers over” to monitor the program. “I knew a little bit about the company because I’d done some Taser demonstrations for them,” Allen explains.

A call to Penny Marlette, manager of CCIS’s risk management services, soon resulted in a transformational change in Allen’s approach to the seminar.

At CCIS, a self-insuring trust whose pool covers some 150 Oregon law enforcement agencies, Marlette instantly became a driving force for the idea of becoming a funding partner for the seminar.

Given the reputation of Force Science research for helping improve use-of-force decision-making and investigations, that proposal “made a lot of sense,” says CCIS Deputy Director Lynn McNamara. “We’d rather put money into risk management and training than into paying claims. After all, the best claim is one that never happens.”

After internal discussion, CCIS, made this offer: the insurer would pay the $195 seminar admission fee, plus appropriate lodging, for 1 representative from any of its member agencies who wished to participate in the seminar. Any member agencies that had already registered would receive refunds.

In short, cutting-edge training on critical use-of-force research for free.

According to Scott Buhrmaster, vice president of operations for the Force Science Institute, this is the first time an insurer has offered broad-based financial support for a Force Science presentation. In Allen’s view, it was a godsend, “especially for small departments whose training money has dried up.”

In less than a week after CCIS’s underwriting partnership was announced, registrations for the program more than doubled, he says. “I have never seen a law enforcement training event that captures such a breadth of attendees: LEOs of every rank, chiefs, sheriffs, DAs, city attorneys, risk managers, human resource managers, PIOs, union reps, correctional command staff…the list goes on.”

When the seminar kicks off this week [9/29-30] at the Hillsboro Civic Center, he anticipates an audience of more than 130, over half of them paid for by CCIS. This, Allen predicts, will more than cover the cost of the seminar.

As a contribution to FSRC to further its force research, Hillsboro PD will donate the admission fees netted from registrants not covered by the insurer, along with a portion of the department’s own training budget, Allen says.

“This will be another first,” says Buhrmaster. “Until now, the only law enforcement entities contributing research funds to FSRC have been police unions in the United Kingdom. Hillsboro will be the first American department to join this important effort.”

“When we put money into a program, we try to track results,” says CCIS’s McNamara. So in the future, the insurer will be monitoring claims filed by member agencies that send attendees to the seminar vs. those that don’t, to see if there’s a detectable difference.

Meanwhile…the day after Allen’s seminar, a hundred miles away in Eugene, OR, another group will hear a special presentation by Dr. Lewinski, thanks to the efforts of Alex Gardner, the progressive district attorney for Lane County.

This gathering is intended to bring the Force Science message not only to more cops but to skeptical but influential civilians as well, including media representatives and some ardent police critics.

Eugene, the county seat, is “a very liberal town with a recent history of tension between the police and vocal sub-sections of the community,” Gardner says. “I came from a much more pro-law enforcement jurisdiction, and things that generate controversy here are sometimes hard to imagine.

“Eugene police, for example, are very conservative about Taser use, compared to what I find in many other locations. But every time a Taser is used here, it’s a media event and the police get grilled for it. The media seem always to want to create the impression that officers have done wrong.”

Gardner saw an opportunity, through Force Science, to help create a greater understanding in the community for the challenges that law enforcement faces.

A few years ago, the Oregon legislature mandated that each county in the state devise a formal protocol for dealing with OIS investigations. Lane County, Gardner says, was one of the first to compose a plan that was approved by the state’s attorney general, and it became something of a template for a majority of other jurisdictions.

“The plan includes a community-outreach element that is intended to give the public the best possible understanding of what we do when an incident arises and what we need to evaluate in assessing it,” Gardner explains.

Much of the public, he was aware, “has expectations that don’t have any relationship to reality. They expect an officer to shoot the gun out of an assailant’s hand, they think an officer needs to wait until he is shot at to respond, they’re outraged if a teenager threatening an officer with a kitchen knife is shot dead, and so on.”

Having heard Lewinski in other venues, Gardner knew he was “a stellar speaker who’s able to make the reality of force dynamics understandable to people who don’t really know anything about the subject.” With Lewinski scheduled to be in the state for the Hillsboro seminar, the time seemed right to bring him to Eugene, the second-largest metropolitan area in the state, as part of the community-outreach initiative. Executives of the county’s 3 principal policing agencies—Sheriff Russ Burger, Eugene Chief Pete Kerns, and Chief Jerry Smith of neighboring Springfield PD—wholehearted supported Gardner’s successful effort at recruiting him.

Lewinski will speak not as a spokesman for law enforcement per se but as a behavioral scientist, Gardner says. And the DA has hand-picked influential elements of the population that he particularly wants to hear the facts: local and regional politicians, media representatives, civic leaders, district attorneys from around the state, human rights commission members, even some activists who seem to be reliably skeptical of police conduct in force situations. Along with law enforcement representatives, particularly from rural agencies that are unfamiliar with Lewinski’s work, Gardner expects that as many as 200 attendees may participate.

For the first half of the day, in a conference center at a community college, Lewinski will outline some of the basic research findings regarding human behavior under the stress of a life-threatening encounter. This will range from basic FSRC findings about action/reaction time to the analysis of controversial shot-in-the-back events.

In the afternoon, attendees will be exposed to shoot/don’t shoot decisions of their own via training simulators, to better appreciate first-hand the pressures involved in armed confrontations. “Instead of Monday-morning quarterbacking, they’ll be right in the breech,” Gardner says.

Having himself been through a police academy firearms school, the DA knows “how a person’s perspective evolves through training.” After the day’s exposure to use-of-force reality, he’s hopeful that the media and other participating civilians “will have more reasonable expectations of police performance and be more fair in judging officers’ actions. Ideally, the next time a major force incident occurs, they’ll evaluate it with a more accurate perspective.”
Title: Girl abducted in Phoenix rescued by police
Post by: G M on December 26, 2009, 07:02:10 AM
Girl abducted in Phoenix rescued by police
December 26, 2009 9:50 AM EST

PHOENIX (AP) — A patrol officer spotted a suspected kidnapper's car and aided in the rescue of a 5-year-old girl, who was found uninjured in what police are calling Phoenix's "Christmas miracle."

Natalie Flores was rescued at about 9:30 p.m. Friday, more than seven hours after she was scooped up by a stranger while playing with her sisters outside their Phoenix apartment building.

"She is alive and well," police spokesman Sgt. Andy Hill said.

Hill credited a "very alert" policeman with taking quick action after spotting what appeared to be the suspect's vehicle driving on a west Phoenix avenue, even though the license plate differed from reports.

Officer Mike Burns pulled alongside and "saw a suspect that matched the description and thought he saw a small child," Hill told The Associated Press.

He said the pickup sped off, and Burns gave chase and alerted the force. Officers put spike strips across the road several blocks away that punctured the suspect's tires, causing him to crash on the roadside.

The man took off on foot but was caught and arrested a block away after a brief struggle.

"She is alive and well thanks to the timely diligence of officer Burns," Hill said. "It is rare in stranger abduction cases so much time can pass without a tragic ending. This was truly a Christmas miracle."

Police said the suspect is a 45-year-old man, but they haven't released his name and or any other details.

Hill said the man was being questioned by police and held on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault on a police officer and felony pursuit.

The sergeant said Natalie appeared to be in good shape but was being examined by health officials.

Police received the call that Natalie had been taken at about 2:15 p.m. An Amber Alert was issued, and authorities began combing the area on foot, by car and with helicopters.

Hill said the child had been playing in a common area at the apartment complex with her two sisters, ages 7 and 9, when a man parked his brown pickup in a nearby parking lot and walked over to them carrying a camera.

"He physically grabbed the 7-year-old girl and forcibly took a photo of her," Hill said.

The man then forced Natalie into the truck and drove away. Witnesses reported that as the man was fleeing, he hit a parked car before entering southbound 19th Avenue.

Natalie and her sisters had been staying at an apartment in the complex with an aunt who has legal custody of them, Hill said. The girls' parents live separately out of state.

After the abduction, Natalie's older sister went to a neighbor's apartment and pounded on the door, The Arizona Republic reported. The woman who answered, Donna Reed, said the girl was carrying a ball and appeared to be shaking.

"She said some man just took her little sister," Reed told the newspaper. "She was a nervous wreck."

Reed called 911.

___

AP writers Katie Oyan and Mark Carlson in Phoenix contributed to this report.
Title: WSJ: a theory demolished
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 04, 2010, 05:59:45 PM
.By HEATHER MAC DONALD
The recession of 2008-09 has undercut one of the most destructive social theories that came out of the 1960s: the idea that the root cause of crime lies in income inequality and social injustice. As the economy started shedding jobs in 2008, criminologists and pundits predicted that crime would shoot up, since poverty, as the "root causes" theory holds, begets criminals. Instead, the opposite happened. Over seven million lost jobs later, crime has plummeted to its lowest level since the early 1960s. The consequences of this drop for how we think about social order are significant.

The notion that crime is an understandable reaction to poverty and racism took hold in the early 1960s. Sociologists Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin argued that juvenile delinquency was essentially a form of social criticism. Poor minority youth come to understand that the American promise of upward mobility is a sham, after a bigoted society denies them the opportunity to advance. These disillusioned teens then turn to crime out of thwarted expectations.

The theories put forward by Cloward, who spent his career at Columbia University, and Ohlin, who served presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Carter, provided an intellectual foundation for many Great Society-era programs. From the Mobilization for Youth on Manhattan's Lower East Side in 1963 through the federal Office of Economic Opportunity and a host of welfare, counseling and job initiatives, their ideas were turned into policy.

If crime was a rational response to income inequality, the thinking went, government can best fight it through social services and wealth redistribution, not through arrests and incarceration. Even law enforcement officials came to embrace the root causes theory, which let them off the hook for rising lawlessness. Through the late 1980s, the FBI's annual national crime report included the disclaimer that "criminal homicide is largely a societal problem which is beyond the control of the police." Policing, it was understood, can only respond to crime after the fact; preventing it is the domain of government welfare programs.

View Full Image

Barbara Kelley
 .The 1960s themselves offered a challenge to the poverty-causes-crime thesis. Homicides rose 43%, despite an expanding economy and a surge in government jobs for inner-city residents. The Great Depression also contradicted the idea that need breeds predation, since crime rates dropped during that prolonged crisis. The academy's commitment to root causes apologetics nevertheless persisted. Andrew Karmen of New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice echoed Cloward and Ohlin in 2000 in his book "New York Murder Mystery." Crime, he wrote, is "a distorted form of social protest." And as the current recession deepened, liberal media outlets called for more government social programs to fight the coming crime wave. In late 2008, the New York Times urged President Barack Obama to crank up federal spending on after-school programs, social workers, and summer jobs. "The economic crisis," the paper's editorialists wrote, "has clearly created the conditions for more crime and more gangs—among hopeless, jobless young men in the inner cities."

Even then crime patterns were defying expectations. And by the end of 2009, the purported association between economic hardship and crime was in shambles. According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, homicide dropped 10% nationwide in the first six months of 2009; violent crime dropped 4.4% and property crime dropped 6.1%. Car thefts are down nearly 19%. The crime plunge is sharpest in many areas that have been hit the hardest by the housing collapse. Unemployment in California is 12.3%, but homicides in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Times reported recently, dropped 25% over the course of 2009. Car thefts there are down nearly 20%.

The recession crime free fall continues a trend of declining national crime rates that began in the 1990s, during a very different economy. The causes of that long-term drop are hotly disputed, but an increase in the number of people incarcerated had a large effect on crime in the last decade and continues to affect crime rates today, however much anti-incarceration activists deny it. The number of state and federal prisoners grew fivefold between 1977 and 2008, from 300,000 to 1.6 million.

***

The spread of data-driven policing has also contributed to the 2000s' crime drop. At the start of the recession, the two police chiefs who confidently announced that their cities' crime rates would remain recession-proof were Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton and New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. As New York Police Commissioner in the mid-1990s, Mr. Bratton pioneered the intensive use of crime data to determine policing strategies and to hold precinct commanders accountable—a process known as Compstat. Commissioner Kelly has continued Mr. Bratton's revolutionary policies, leading to New York's stunning 16-year 77% crime drop. The two police leaders were true to their word. In 2009, the city of L.A. saw a 17% drop in homicides, an 8% drop in property crimes, and a 10% drop in violent crimes. In New York, homicides fell 19%, to their lowest level since reliable records were first kept in 1963.

The Compstat mentality is the opposite of root causes excuse-making; it holds that policing can and must control crime for the sake of urban economic viability. More and more police chiefs have adopted the Compstat philosophy of crime-fighting and the information-based policing techniques that it spawned. Their success in lowering crime shows that the government can control antisocial behavior and provide public safety through enforcing the rule of law. Moreover, the state has the moral right and obligation to do so, regardless of economic conditions or income inequality.

The recession could still affect crime rates if cities cut their police forces and states start releasing prisoners early. Both forms of cost-saving would be self-defeating. Public safety is the precondition for thriving urban life. In 1990s New York, crime did not drop because the economy improved; rather, the city's economy revived because crime was cut in half. Keeping crime rates low now is the best guarantee that cities across the country will be able to exploit the inevitable economic recovery when it comes.

Ms. Mac Donald is a contributing editor at the Manhattan Institute's City Journal.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on January 06, 2010, 11:39:07 AM
http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local-beat/chicago-police-scrap-entrance-exam-80790827.html

They should scrap the background requirements as well. After all, we did the last presidential election.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 06, 2010, 03:14:26 PM
 :-o :-o :-o
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Freki on January 06, 2010, 08:27:18 PM
GM  That is the portal to a view beyond the looking glass.  It is something out of bizarro world.  Have they lost all sense of reality?  If they avoid legal actions on hiring what of the legal actions brought against the department for hiring totally incompetent cops.  The liability boggles the mind.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on January 06, 2010, 08:53:26 PM
There is established caselaw for hiring persons unfit for law enforcement as well as retaining them in the job. Chicago will end up writing some big checks because of this.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 07, 2010, 09:15:42 AM
Freki:

GM wrote "They should scrap the background requirements as well. After all, we did the last presidential election."

I take this to be ironic commentary  :lol:
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on January 07, 2010, 09:17:57 AM
 :-D
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Freki on January 07, 2010, 07:11:31 PM
Crafty

I took GM's point just venting on the lack of common sense the article portrays
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on January 24, 2010, 10:32:13 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/1993/03/09/us/police-killers-offer-insights-into-victims-fatal-mistakes.html?pagewanted=1&pagewanted=print

March 9, 1993
Police-Killers Offer Insights Into Victims' Fatal Mistakes
By FRANCIS X. CLINES,
WASHINGTON, March 3— The cop killer was deep in an eerie narrative, not bragging, not regretting, just lost in the vivid detail as he recalled casually ambushing a highway patrolman too busy with a clipboard and driver's license to see the end approaching.

"Not watching me at the time, I stuck my wallet back into my pocket and pulled out my pistol and shot him," the killer recollected into the video camera.

"He looked up just in time to see the gun going off," the bald, rather harmless-appearing man, in prison now for a life sentence, continued as he recalled the need he saw for a second shot. "I saw him move, an arm or hand, and I shot him again. I killed him. I shot him in the head and killed him." Looking for Answers

The television screen boxed in the killer brightly before turning blank, and Edward F. Davis of the Federal Bureau of Investigation clearly felt the passion of that interview all over again. And again, he focused not on the cold-blooded confession, but on the unusual critique he drew from the killer of what the policeman had done wrong and how he might have lived.

"Before in police literature, the good guys always evaluated the bad guys," Mr. Davis said, describing the turnabout of a new F.B.I. approach to fathoming what may be the ultimate antisocial outrage of gun-encrusted America, the killing of police officers, lately at the rate of six a month.

"What we're doing now is having the bad guys make a conscious evaluation of the good guys' conduct," Mr. Davis said of the three-year project of delving into cop-killers' tales. With his colleague, Anthony J. Pinizzotto, an F.B.I. agent with a doctorate in psychology, he is seeking advice from the killers on what their victims did wrong.

Interviews with 50 murderers have produced the bureau's first sketch of a typical victim officer: someone with a tendency to use less force than other officers and to rely on an instinctive read of a situation and so drop his guard. By the testimony of the officer's killer as well as mournful colleagues, the victim is likely to be a hard-working, laid-back person who "tends to look for good in others" and not follow all the rules, like waiting for backup help.

"The killers are telling the same things the academy instructors have been saying over and over," Mr. Davis said, emphasizing that carelessness about police procedures can easily prove fatal. The killers' taped voices are presenting these findings more graphically than the traditional police academy lessons. A Killer's Perspective

After years of cataloguing the forensic minutiae of each police killing -- 740 in the past decade -- the F.B.I. accepted a proposal in 1989 from Mr. Davis and a colleague, James Baugh, that the bureau focus on the questions of precisely how and why, in the eyes of the killers, the attacks happened. Mr. Davis and Mr. Pinizzotto then traveled to 38 prisons to interview 50 murderers of 54 police officers.

Their work is now being presented at police conferences and academies. Like sketching a criminal, the two men listened to the killers and sketched the profile of a typical victim officer in a 60-page summary of their research called "Killed in the Line of Duty."

No less fascinating for the interrogators were the profiles of the killers, who formed a diverse group of criminal personalities. Fourteen percent, for example, said they might have acted differently had the officer victims been female. Only 1 of the 54 victims was a woman, reflecting the average of such killings for the past decade; two of the killers were women.

"Our bottom line is, 'Don't listen to us; listen to the killers,' " Mr. Davis said as the next taped killer filled the television screen at an F.B.I. office here. The killer, a meek, slender young man, offered a clipped, authoritative critique of why his victim, an officer stopping him after an armed robbery, was too careless for his own good. Too Little Control

"He did not take control of me," said the young felon, as if that was why he now faces a lifetime in prison.

The killer listened as the question was plainly put to him: What might the officer have done differently to live?

"He never controlled my actions successfully," the convict scolded quietly, noting that the officer had foolishly kept his pistol holstered even as he watched his killer wheel around and fire point-blank.

The interviews, conducted under a painstaking method adapted from the bureau's protocol for serial killers and rapists, averaged more than five hours each. The focus ranged from the killers' recollections of their childhoods to their rationales, feelings and detailed descriptions of killing police officers.

A few officers viewing the tapes have objected to the pragmatic, unaccusing style of Mr. Davis, a 52-year-old veteran officer and F.B.I. agent, and Mr. Pinizzotto, a 42-year-old psychologist. The two members of the F.B.I.'s uniform crime reports section take this as a compliment in their stated assurances to the killers of not raking over guilt and blame but salvaging some life-saving clues for killers as well as victims. A Crucial Shortcoming

They are already emphasizing the need to deal with a glaring shortcoming they have found: the dearth of training in what to do when a gunman has control of an officer. To draw in turn is folly, the F.B.I. has found, just as to surrender a police pistol can also be fatal.

"It's intriguing," Mr. Pinizzotto said of the talks with the killers. "Their victims stood guard protecting the rights of the citizenry, and these murders have a special symbolism."

Mr. Pinizzotto found that the killers ranged from a nonviolent career thief who suddenly killed when cornered to a passive, dependent young woman who became alarmed as her lover was arrested as an armed robber at a motel. The woman pulled a gun from her miniskirt pocket and killed two surprised policemen.

"How do these things happen? Why? Especially, why?" Mr. Pinizzotto asked. He noted that as complex as the research project had been the team's next one would be even more so. The two men intend to interview officers who survived life-threatening wounds and ask them what went wrong and how they were almost killed. 'Look What Happened'

"This will be much tougher because they'll have to say, 'Not only did I make mistake, but look what happened,' " Mr. Pinizzotto said.

Of course, there are cases in which an officer made all the recommended moves and yet still died, he said. But the F.B.I. is finding repeated accounts of sloppiness as it gathers killers' accounts of the final actions of many of the victims. This finding leaves the two agents chilled in the face of one murderer's tale, in particular:

"I grabbed the gun in the car and told my two friends I'm going back there and I'm going to shoot this man," one hard-eyed man recalled on the tapes.

The man, who had just committed an armed robbery, was angry at being pulled over by a patrol car for driving erratically. He saw his chance when the policeman became overly busy with his radio: "He wasn't looking at me when I approached the car, which gave me the advantage to get real close to him. He stayed on the radio and when he noticed somebody standing near, all he did was look at me with the corner of his eye. I pointed my gun to his chest and shot him."

Photo: The F.B.I. has been studying 50 murderers to find out what killers think their victims, who were all police officers, did wrong. One case analyzed was that of a mounted police officer in Dayton, Ohio, for whom fellow officers marched in a funeral procession in 1991. (Wally Nelson/Dayton Daily News)(pg. A16)
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Rarick on January 27, 2010, 06:47:28 AM
Catch-22, I would never take the job because of that.  To stay alive you have to act in a way that alienates the law abiding, if you do not expect everyone to be a criminal you end up dead.  The silly laws you sometimes have to enforce do not help any either.

I think the job would be far easier if it was entitled Law Janitor.  That is what it usually is anyway in a lot of cases, arriving to pick up the mess made by someone violating the law. 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on January 27, 2010, 07:55:25 AM
http://www.odmp.org/officer/15034-deputy-kyle-wayne-dinkheller

Deputy Kyle Wayne Dinkheller
Laurens County Sheriff's Office
Georgia
End of Watch: Monday, January 12, 1998

Biographical Info
Age: 22
Tour of Duty: 4 years
Badge Number: 37

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Monday, January 12, 1998
Weapon Used: Rifle; .30 caliber
Suspect Info: Sentenced to death

Deputy Dinkheller was shot and killed after pulling over a man on a rural road about 6 miles north of Dublin, Georgia. During the traffic stop he called in for backup. Before the backup arrived he was shot by the man with a rifle. He was able to return fire, striking the suspect in the stomach. The suspect was found during a search the next morning and taken into custody.

The entire incident was videotaped by a camera in Deputy Dinkheller's patrol car. On January 28, 2000, the suspect was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to death two days later.

Deputy Dinkheller is survived by his expectant wife and 22-month-old daughter. Deputy Dinkheller's son was born in early September 1998.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GX5kwVc9IOk[/youtube]
Title: Moving away from a force continuum model
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 11, 2010, 07:42:28 AM
For those interested in these issues, this piece seems well worth the time.

http://www.ecdlaw.info/outlines/Wallentine--continua.pdf
Title: More on the continuum
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 11, 2010, 08:00:15 AM

Second entry of the morning:

Use of Force Continuum (podcast transcript)Solari: Hi. I’m Jenna Solari. With me today is John Bostain. John and I are instructors in the Enforcement Operations Division of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Georgia; otherwise known as the FLETC. John, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Bostain: Sure. Before I came to FLETC, I spent almost eight years as a police officer in Hampton, Virginia. I served as uniform patrol officer, police academy instructor, detective and SWAT team member. Since joining the FLETC staff five and a half years ago, I’ve been an instructor in both the Physical Techniques Division and Enforcement Operations Division. I’m currently the Senior Instructor for Use of Force for FLETC basic programs.

Solari: Well, could you tell us a little about the FLETC?

Bostain: The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center trains federal law enforcement officers and agents from more than 80 different agencies. Part of the training includes Use of Force. We teach students when a police officer can use force, and how much force is authorized.

Solari: Well, I understand you’re here today to specifically address Use of Force continuums as a training tool. What is a Use of Force continuum?

Bostain: The term Use of Force continuum is one name for a visual model that depicts progressive escalation and de-escalation of force based on a subject’s actions. They have been a mainstay in law enforcement for many years. They are also known as Use of Force Models, Use of Force Ladders and Subject to Control Matrices.

Solari: John, is there one visual model or continuum that is used by every law enforcement agency?

Bostain: No, not here in the United States. Canada uses a circular model called the National Use of Force Framework in all of their agencies, but here in the United States it’s much different. Continuums vary from state to state and agency to agency. They come in a number of different forms. Some look like time lines, some look like pyramids and some even look like doughnuts.

Solari: Are Use of Force Models an effective tool for training officers?

Bostain: You know, I think we might be getting a little ahead of ourselves here. Before we can start a discussion about Use of Force Models and continuums, let’s first address the legal standard for use of force by law enforcement officers in the United States.

Solari: Ok, great, who sets that legal standard?

Bostain: It’s set by the United States Supreme Court, and its interpretation of the Fourth Amendment.

Solari: Well, then, has the Supreme Court said when law enforcement officers are allowed to use force?

Bostain: Yes, they have. The Supreme Court has expressly stated the right to make an arrest or an investigatory stop necessarily carries with it the right to use some level of physical coercion of threat thereof to affect it. In other words, if the officer has the authority to conduct a seizure, he has the authority to use force or the threat of force to accomplish that mission.

Solari: So then we know when an officer can use force. Has the Supreme Court told us how much force a police officer can use to control a suspect?

Bostain: That’s an excellent question, Jenna. According to the Court, in a 1989 case named Graham v. Connor, police officers may use the amount of force that is objectively reasonable to control subjects during a lawful seizure. Objective reasonableness is based upon the totality of circumstances known to the officer at the moment force was used.

Solari: What does that mean, exactly?

Bostain: The Court will consider any objective fact the officer was aware of at the time he applied force. It’s up to the officer of course, to articulate those facts to the Court. If another reasonable officer could have taken the same action based on those facts, then the use of force is lawful. Objective facts are those that can observed or measured by others, like the time of day, environmental surroundings, number of officers versus the number of suspects. Things like that. Objective facts don’t include things that are solely in the officer’s mind, such as a dislike of the suspect, or fear or nervousness felt by the officer. Those are subjective facts, and they don’t carry any legal weight when it comes to use of force.

Solari: Alright, so, let’s say an officer has an arrest warrant for Fred Ferkle for domestic assault and battery. What’s the right way, according to the Fourth Amendment, for that officer to approach Fred Ferkle and execute the warrant?

Bostain: Well Jenna, there’s no single quote unquote right way to handle it. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say Fred Ferkle has a known history of resisting arrest and assaults on a police officer. Let’s also say that our friend Fred is about, oh I don’t know, 6’2” and weighs about 225 lbs. Let’s also say the officer’s making the arrest by himself, at approximately 10:00 at night. When he approaches Fred’s house, he sees Fred out on his front yard. The officer identifies himself as a police officer and he says, “Fred, you’re under arrest.” Fred responds by turning towards the officer, pointing his finger at him and saying, “screw you, I’m not going to jail tonight.” Now, one officer, maybe one that’s highly experienced with martial arts, may decide to control Fred using an empty hand control technique. Another officer, based on the exact same information as the first, may decide to spray Fred with OC. Yet another officer, maybe one much smaller in stature than Fred, may decide to use an electronic control device such as a taser. And yet another officer may handle this exact situation by using an extendible baton. That means there may be a whole range of reasonable force options available to the officer in a use of force situation. There is not a single correct answer that can be relied upon each time.

Solari: But, does the example we just discussed, all those options that you laid out for us, do they all conform to the Supreme Court case law?

Bostain: Absolutely. The Court has acknowledged that the use of force decisions are made under circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving. The Court doesn’t expect the officer to be perfect. All the officer has to do is be reasonable. There’s no pre-set solution to use of force situations. Every incident presents a unique set of facts. There’s just no way to anticipate them all.

Solari: Well, then the Use of Force continuums must say the same thing, right?

Bostain: Actually no. Use of Force continuums try to anticipate the suspect’s actions and equate them with a predetermined officer response.

Solari: Why? Is that required by the Fourth Amendment?

Bostain: No, quite the opposite. In Graham, the Supreme Court specifically stated that the test of reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment is not capable of precise definition or mechanical application.

Solari: So, let me make sure I understand this, Use of Force continuums try to do what the Supreme Court said is impossible?

Bostain: Exactly. Again, most continuums are structured in a way that a specific subject action equates to a specific officer response, regardless of the totality of circumstances known to the officer. So, in the arrest warrant example we discussed earlier, a model might say the officer’s justified in using a hands-on control technique or OC spray, but not a baton or taser. That’s just not legally accurate. Even though the law says that all four of those responses could be reasonable, every model I’ve ever seen contradicts that. That’s because it’s impossible for a model to account for things like known violent history of the suspect; duration of the action; size; age; condition of the officer and suspect; and other facts that may make up the totality of circumstances.

Solari: Other than the apparent conflict with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Fourth Amendment, are there any other concerns about Use of Force continuums?

Bostain: Yeah. Each continuum has its own general categories of subject actions. They include phrases such as passive resistance, verbal non-compliance, active resistance, assaultive, grievous bodily harm, you get the point. The problem is that there is no universal agreement on how to define each of these terms. Active resistance to one officer may appear passive to another, and may even appear assaultive to another. These types of inconsistencies may cause an officer to unnecessarily hesitate as he tries to pigeonhole a subject’s actions into a specific definition on a Use of Force continuum. Use of Force continuums are a cognitive tool, and they’re not very useful in the rapidly evolving dynamics of a critical incident.

Solari: Well, has anybody done any studies to determine how clearly an officer can think during a critical incident? I mean, is it difficult to use a cognitive tool while trying to control a suspect?

Bostain: That’s a good question. There has been a great deal of research into what is called the biomechanics of lethal force. Much of this research has been conducted by the Force Science Research Center located at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota. According to the most current research conducted by Force Science, things happen so quickly in a use of force incident that a subject can take actions against an officer much quicker than the officer can react. Utilizing a Use of Force continuum as a cognitive tool takes additional time -- time an officer just doesn’t have in a use of force incident, which compounds the problem.

Solari: Well that’s interesting. What other issues have come up regarding Use of Force Models?

Bostain: Well, there’re a number of other concerns. Most models hold to the principle of using the minimal amount of force necessary to effect the law enforcement objective.

Solari: Well, minimal force, that doesn’t sound so bad.

Bostain: The problem with adhering to that theory is that it encourages the officer to go through a trial and error process of deciding what force response option is the minimum, but is still going to be effective. Officers may try a minimal response hoping it’s going to work. When that fails, they try the next minimal response and hope it works. When that one fails too, the situation has deteriorated to the point where now it takes a great amount of force to control the subject. If the officer was just allowed to go and follow the guidance of the Supreme Court in Graham, they could go directly to the force response option they believe is reasonable based on the totality of circumstances.

Solari: Well, is there a benefit to going straight to the most effective reasonable response, rather than just trying to use minimal force?

Bostain: Definitely. The officer will control the situation sooner, which leads to fewer injuries to the suspect, fewer injuries to the officer, and generally less overall force used.

Solari: Well, John, the way you’ve described it, the Fourth Amendment gives officers a pretty wide lane of travel when it comes to use of force. It seems like that as long as the officer can articulate objective facts that make his use of force reasonable, then he’s satisfied the Fourth Amendment. That’s all the Courts require, right?

Bostain: That’s right. It’s a very easy standard to understand and apply.

Solari: So, has there been any attempt to make Use of Force Models as easy to apply as the Fourth Amendment standard?

Bostain: Um, sort of, but it hasn’t been effective. Most models in use around the country utilize something called the One Plus Rule. It’s been said in use of force training for years that the officer should be one level higher than the suspect on the Use of Force continuum in order to control the suspect. The confusing part about that is that the officer first has to decide what level the suspect is at, and then try to figure out what one level above that is. That might work well in a classroom environment, but in the tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving circumstances of a use of force incident, it’s just not practical.

Solari: But shouldn’t the model already say what the right response is? Isn’t that the whole point?

Bostain: Yes, and that’s how we know models don’t work. When you have to create an extra rule just to make the model make sense, something’s wrong.

Solari: Let me make sure I understand what you’re saying. First, Use of Force Models actually conflict with Supreme Court case law?

Bostain: Yeah. They impose more restrictions on officers than the Fourth Amendment requires.

Solari: Well okay, and second, as you explained it, the terms used in Use of Force Models are usually pretty ambiguous.

Bostain: Right. What one officer considers to be active resistance might be interpreted as assaultive by another reasonable officer. That puts the two officers in different places on the model, even though they’re facing the exact same situation.

Solari: Well I can imagine the effect of that confusion is to cause both officers to hesitate.

Bostain: That’s right. Officers who should be taking control of the suspect before the situation escalates are too busy trying to figure out where they fall on a Use of Force Model, and what the minimal force is under those circumstances.

Solari: So John, as a former officer and a current law enforcement trainer, what do you recommend we do with all the Use of Force Models and continuums that are out there?

Bostain: Jenna, I get asked that question all of the time. In short, I think we should do away with them. That’s what we’ve done here at FLETC. We have replaced the model with more legal training, which focuses on the Constitutional standard set forth by the United States Supreme Court. From the first week of training, FLETC students are exposed to Graham v. Connor and its requirements. After their initial legal training, the Constitutional standard is reinforced almost daily by our Firearms Division and Physical Techniques Division. The legal concepts are further reinforced through reality based training programs which include a use of force lab that focuses exclusively on use of force decision making skills. But, in my opinion, the most important thing we can do is focus on teaching students to articulate themselves in written reports that conform to the Constitutional standard. We have been conducting training like this for the past two years, and all of it has been without the use of a continuum.

Solari: Well now, I want to ask you a question that I imagine a lot of officers and agents out there have in mind, as they listen to you describe doing away with these models and continuums. Thinking about things like administrative consequences and litigation that might result after use of force incidents, how would officers justify a use of force if they can’t point to a model?

Bostain: Exactly the way the Supreme Court told them to in Graham. All they have to do is articulate the objective facts that made their application of force reasonable under the totality of circumstances. If the officer’s actions were a proportional response to the threat posed by the suspect, it’s reasonable. It’s really that simple.

Solari: Well, boil it down for us, what would be the benefits of throwing out all of the models and going strictly with the Constitutional standard?

Bostain: Well Jenna, for starters, one word – consistency. We have one legal standard for use of force in this country and that is objective reasonableness. By eliminating the dozens of different models and continuums, we can get the entire country on one sheet of music. That sheet of music is the one set forth by the United States Supreme Court. Secondly, officers can gain confidence in their ability to make use of force decisions, because they are armed with the knowledge to make force decisions based on objective facts rather than a subjective model. There will be less unnecessary hesitation by officers in the field, which should lead to the ability to control subjects sooner and with less force. As I said earlier, this also reduces the chances of the officer getting injured as well as reducing the chance of injury to the suspect. Lastly, it puts the officer and the agency in a better position to defend themselves from potential liability, because the officers will be acting in accordance with the Constitutional law, which will be the legal standard used in any future litigation.

Solari: Well John, I hope this information gets some agencies thinking about their Use of Force training. The way you’ve described it, phasing out models would result in nothing but positive change for law enforcement. Thanks a lot for that information.

Bostain: My pleasure Jenna.

Solari: For those of you who want to hear other FLETC PodCasts, you can find them on the internet at http://www.fletc.gov/training/programs/legal-division/podcasts.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on April 11, 2010, 08:18:29 AM
Good articles.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 16, 2010, 12:47:27 PM


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsCuurneZVE&feature=fvw
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on April 16, 2010, 08:31:07 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5TPSg2l2So&feature=related

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5TPSg2l2So&feature=related[/youtube]
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 16, 2010, 08:43:46 PM
A classic!  It appears in our DLO-3 DVD by the way,
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Rarick on April 17, 2010, 04:55:50 AM
That's the McD's by Circus Circus.  about 2 blocks away from "naked city" which has been/is drug and gang crime central for a while.  Nice clip for a technique demo.  Where is the other side of the fight tho'?  (if it was the guy walking out of the driveway, why didn't they detain him too?)

The usual routine tho', refuse to lay down for the bear, get mauled by the bear.  The guy would have saved himself some pain if he had just put his hands on the car like the cop asked.  "step up to my car" his local vernacular for "hands on the hood" OOps!

I wish I had more info for the whole situation but, given the format and legalities, I will never know........  It looks sloppy.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on April 17, 2010, 07:40:39 AM
That's the McD's by Circus Circus.  about 2 blocks away from "naked city" which has been/is drug and gang crime central for a while.  Nice clip for a technique demo.  Where is the other side of the fight tho'?  (if it was the guy walking out of the driveway, why didn't they detain him too?)

**Because Mr. Shell necklace decided to become the focus of attention by becoming non-compliant.**

The usual routine tho', refuse to lay down for the bear, get mauled by the bear.  The guy would have saved himself some pain if he had just put his hands on the car like the cop asked.  "step up to my car" his local vernacular for "hands on the hood" OOps!

I wish I had more info for the whole situation but, given the format and legalities, I will never know........  It looks sloppy.

If Shell-necklace had just complied, and there were no wants/warrants for him and no serious injuries from the fight, he might have been cut loose with a warning or at the most, given a summons to muni-court for a "disturbing the peace" charge.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 17, 2010, 07:50:57 AM
Rarick:

I've never worn a badge, but according to my understanding, the officer's technique is, , , improvable.

a) a command to "remove your hands from you pockets" facilitates drawing a weapon should there be one.

b) even though the officer is aware of the issue, he has his hands behind his back

That said, his seizure of the initiative is impeccable  8-)
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on April 17, 2010, 07:55:10 AM
Crafty,

Those are both valid points, and it wasn't good contact/cover positioning, but once the subject became non-compliant, it was dealt with as needed.

1. The best fight is the one you avoid having.

2. Second best is the one you finish before your opponent recognizes that it's started.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 17, 2010, 08:00:12 AM
Thank you and agreed.

PS:  I would have like to have seen the officer's partner establish more of an angle.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on April 17, 2010, 08:08:47 AM
Proper Contact/cover positioning would have required an angle and distance for the cover officer.

My analysis is that the officers read the subject as being a low level threat (Forecasting saves time, but when you encounter the subject that you misjudge as low level, your family can end up getting a folded up flag with bagpipes in the background). They were going to punt the call and go back into service until he got stupid.

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Rarick on April 18, 2010, 12:14:16 AM
Yeah, I did not see any blood, so no harm.  On the strip........  They were probably looking at doing a basic CYA investigation/check until Shelly was either 2 drunk or just stupid.   Still kind of sloppy, probably could have tried the soft sell and used formal english, especially in touristville.  Those guys were dressed like bike patrol too.......
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on April 18, 2010, 07:28:25 AM
They could have done more "verbal judo", but bottom line, shelly caused himself the problems that resulted. If he had cooperated, he probably would have been walking away within 5 to 10 minutes. Instead, he probably caught multiple charges and at least one night in Clark County Detention Center and bail bonding and legal fees.
Title: Meyer: The BART Shooting Tragedy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 25, 2010, 10:07:30 AM
 Less Lethal Issues in Law Enforcement
- Sponsored by TASER International

with Capt. Greg Meyer (ret.)   

The BART shooting tragedy: Lessons to be learned

I was the use-of-force expert for former BART Officer Johannes Mehserle, who was charged with first-degree murder, then convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Since his conviction 30 hours ago (as I write this), Johannes Mehserle sits in the Los Angeles County Jail, awaiting sentencing in a few weeks. We are left to wonder why. I’ll try to provide some answers.

Related Feature:



Mehserle verdict: Involuntary manslaughter

Mehserle was found not guilty of second-degree murder, and not guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

       
My mission in working with the Mehserle defense was to explain to the jury the policy, training, equipment, and tactical issues that affected Johannes Mehserle’s actions on the BART platform during the early-morning hours of January 1, 2009. It was obvious from the beginning that this incident grew out of yet another case of weapons confusion involving a TASER and a handgun.

Certainly there are a number of lessons to be learned. My article is directed at police trainers and policy makers, and any of the rest of you in law enforcement that wonder how such a tragic mistake could happen, and what can be done to prevent future similar situations.

So what happened out there? I will give you the facts as I know them.

There was a fight on a BART train in Oakland involving New Year’s Eve celebrants. The train engineer called for police assistance. Police pulled people believed to be the fighters off the train. Several were detained who cooperated, and they were handcuffed without any use of force. Oscar Grant was at times cooperative, and at times he resisted. When it was his turn to be handcuffed, he physically resisted. He was taken to the ground, face down. One officer controlled his head and shoulders. Officer Mehserle’s job was to handcuff Grant. Grant “turtled” his right arm underneath his body. Mehserle (who is pretty big and strong) tried mightily for several seconds to get Grant’s arm out.

Mehserle was unable to gain control of the right hand and arm, despite strenuous efforts, clearly established on the video. Earlier that night Mehserle was present when other officers recovered a gun from a suspect's right-front pocket. Three prior documented times in his short career, he and his partner had removed guns from suspects' right-front pockets.

Mehserle observed Oscar Grant's hand going into the right-front pocket. Mehserle worried that Grant may be going for a gun. Mehserle decided to stop the action with a TASER. Mehserle never considered using his handgun. He himself had taken a 5-second ride with a TASER back-shot during his first TASER training less than four weeks earlier, and experienced neuromuscular incapacitation.

One of the wild myths out there in the public about this case is the assertion that an officer would never pull a TASER if he or she thought they might be facing a deadly force scenario. This is false. Officers frequently use TASERs in imminent deadly force situations (sometimes wisely, sometimes not, but that’s for another article). I introduced a multi-page exhibit that documented many, many such cases from court records around the country.

Mehserle loudly announced to the other officer, "Tony, get back, I'm going to tase him. I'm going to tase him." Multiple witnesses (including at least one of Oscar Grant's nearby handcuffed buddies) heard Mehserle's "I'm going to tase him" announcement, and so testified.

At the time, BART did not issue TASERs and holsters individually to officers. They are rotated, shift to shift. Sometimes you get one, sometimes you don't. When you get one, there are three different holster configurations at BART. Weak-side/weak-hand; strong-side/weak-hand crossdraw; and (the one Mehserle happened to have that particular night) strong-hand/cross-draw. They also informally allowed weak-side drop holsters, although that was not written in their policy. (I know that some of you prefer “dominant” and “nondominant” and other labels for the strong-hand, weak-hand concept. No offense, I get it, but for my whole career it was strong-hand, weak-hand, so permit me at this advanced age to use that terminology.)

Mehserle's (strong) right hand moved to his right side (instead of to his left-front, where his TASER was located in a cross-draw holster), and he partially gripped his handgun with his fingers. His right thumb moved back and forth in the air, in and out toward his own ribcage, inches above where the handgun holster safety was, consistent with the motion needed to undo the TASER holster safety strap if a TASER holster were there (which it was not); and totally inconsistent with undoing the Level-3 handgun holster — these motions are clearly seen on video.

For about four seconds, Mehserle unsuccessfully tugged at his handgun, then it came out. Dr. Lewinski testified that Mehserle subconsciously performed an “automatic program” (one that he was very practiced at) when his decision-making degraded under stress. We know from research that under stress, performance is negatively affected, and we react with movements that are most familiar to us.

Mehserle raised himself up to a level consistent with firing a TASER to achieve a minimally good dart spread. (Weeks earlier he had learned that two feet of distance gets you a four-inch dart spread, which is the minimum spread needed to achieve NMI.) Mehserle aimed at Grant's back and fired ONCE (i.e., not the two or three times that officers are trained to shoot a handgun in rapid succession when facing an immediate deadly force threat.)

Witnesses stated (and multiple videos confirmed) that a moment after the shot, Mehserle looked stunned, in shock; he immediately returned his handgun to its holster, contrary to training to scan and assess when you shoot somebody; then he immediately placed his hands on his forehead, exhibited a bewildered look on his face and uttered panicked expletives.

Mehserle bent down, handcuffed Oscar Grant as per standard post-shooting practice, located the bullet hole and applied direct pressure, tried to keep Grant talking, and watched him fade away.

All of Mehserle’s movements except the mistake of drawing the handgun itself instead of the TASER, were consistent with drawing and activating and deploying darts from a TASER. One of the videos also clearly shows Mehserle's right thumb in an upward-sweeping motion along the left side frame of the gun as soon as he draws it, in a manner and place totally consistent with activating the TASER arming switch (safety). There is no decocking device on Mehserle’s Sig Sauer P226DAK handgun, so that thumb move was not at all consistent with preparing to shoot a handgun. We can also see on video that Mehserle’s left hand was placed near the frame of the handgun (not on the grip), and that his left hand reflexively flew upward and away from the handgun when the shot occurred.

I've tentatively concluded that the jury went with involuntary manslaughter on the basis that Mehserle was engaged in a lawful act—the arrest of Oscar Grant III — and that he accidentally drew his handgun while intending to draw his TASER. The jury found that he was criminally negligent in that he didn’t reasonably follow policy and training.

I presented an exhibit for the jury documenting the seven known weapons-confusion cases in the past nine years where an officer shot someone while intending to use his or her TASER. Here is a reprint of the text of that exhibit:

March 2001. Sacramento, CA police officer intends to fire a TASER at a resisting handcuffed suspect in backseat of police car. He instead draws and fires his handgun, shooting the suspect. (nonfatal, M26, strong-side leg holster, strong-hand draw)
September 2002. A Rochester, MN police officer intends to fire a TASER at a resisting suspect. He instead draws and fires his handgun, shooting the suspect. (nonfatal, M26, strong-side cargo pocket, strong-hand draw)
October 2002. A Madera, CA police officer intends to fire a TASER at a resisting handcuffed suspect in the back seat who was attempting to kick out the window of the police car. She instead draws and fires her handgun, shooting the suspect. (fatal; strong side leg holster, M26, strong-hand draw)
October 2003. A Somerset County, MD sheriff's deputy intends to fire a TASER at a fleeing warrant suspect. He instead draws and fires his handgun and shoots the suspect. (nonfatal; M26, strong-side leg holster, strong-hand draw)
September 2005. A Victoria (BC) constable intends to fire a TASER at a resisting suspect. He instead draws and fires his handgun, shooting the suspect. (nonfatal; X26, strong-side cargo pocket, strong-hand draw).
June 2006. A Kitsap County, WA sheriff's deputy intends to fire a TASER at a suspect. She instead draws and fires her handgun, shooting the suspect. (nonfatal; M26, strong-side holster, strong-hand draw)
January 2009. A BART police officer in Oakland, CA intends to fire a TASER at a resisting suspect who is prone and refusing to give up his arm for handcuffing. He instead draws and fires his handgun, shooting the suspect. (fatal; X26, strong-hand cross-draw)

Only Mehserle was criminally prosecuted.

Late in the game, a few days before my testimony, it occurred to me that all of the incidents involved a strong-hand TASER draw, regardless of holster type or placement. The lesson from that is to get the strong hand out of the game! Consider requiring an officer’s TASER to be in weak-side holsters requiring a weak-hand draw to reduce the possibility of another tragic case. Dr. Bill Lewinski (Force Science Research Center) and I have discussed this issue, and we believe that it would significantly reduce the risk (maybe not totally eliminate, but reduce the chance) of having a weapon-confusion incident. A few months ago, BART changed policy to require weak-side, weak-hand-draw TASER holsters only. We were precluded from mentioning that in front of the jury.

I also testified about BART’s training, which did not put trainees through stress-inducing scenarios. It is essential that trainers put officers through their paces with training that is dynamic, stress-inducing, and requires officers to make quick force-options decisions. The training must truly test the officer's ability to be ready for stressful encounters on the street.

As Dr. Lewinski told me, “You need rapid decision-making under stress with time pressure. You need to build the decision-making process under stress in order to condition the officer for the realities on the street.”

Do you do that at your agency?!

Several media outlets are reporting that the jury also found that the California law involving the use of a gun during the commission of a crime (the so-called "gun enhancement") applied in this case. This one is a head-scratcher, because according to my reading of the jury instructions on that issue he would have had to intentionally use the firearm. That seems contrary to the involuntary manslaughter verdict. Legal experts are weighing in on the applicability of that law (designed to discourage robbers and such from having guns) to this case. We’ll see what the judge does during sentencing.

It was an absolute pleasure working with defense attorney Mike Rains. He is right up there with the best that an officer could ever find, and I’ve worked with many. It is most unfortunate that Mike Rains was not brought in to defend Mehserle in the early hours and days after the incident, things might have turned out way different.

Lesson: make sure you are provided a very experienced police use-of-force attorney from the get-go if you are involved in a shooting or other major use-of-force incident.

As soon as I started examining the case, I recommended to attorney Mike Rains that he also retain Dr. Bill Lewinski of the Force Science Research Center as Mehserle’s expert on the biomechanics concerning the weapons-confusion issue. By now I would imagine that most if not all readers would know of Dr. Lewinski’s sterling credentials and reputation. It is always a pleasure to work with such a dedicated professional. See www.forcescience.org.

Needless to say, this was a very difficult, politically-charged, heart-wrenching case. From the beginning of my involvement in January 2009, it was clear that there would be no winners. If you’re interested in the political and racial aspects and questionable charging decision of the Alameda County (Oakland, Calif.) district attorney in this case, look elsewhere. Others have written about that, and still others will. Being an LAPD guy, I take the Jack Webb approach: just the facts! And that’s what I’ve tried to provide you.

About the author


Greg Meyer, a retired Captain from the Los Angeles Police Academy, served for 30 years, including eight years as a commanding officer. Greg is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Force Science Research Center, a member of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

He holds the Certified Litigation Specialist credential of the Americans for Effective Law Enforcement (AELE), and is a member of the AELE seminar faculty for lethal and nonlethal weapons issues.

Greg can be reached at: gregmeyer@earthlink.net

This column is sponsored by TASER International for the purpose of disseminating important information related to less lethal technologies, products, policies and training.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: sgtmac_46 on August 15, 2010, 10:03:44 AM
In my departmental training and policies i've attempted to incorporate this concept of bi-lateralism in to our defensive tactics training.  With the Taser we now train officers to draw and deploy the Taser with their non-dominate hand, which we feel will not only reduce the likelihood of weapon confusion like what happened with the BART shooting, but will actually aid in transitioning up and down the force spectrum under pressure.  I found it humorously interesting to note in our last Taser inservice training how, when I put officers in a position of drawing their Tasers under stress and time constraint, they realized that the task was much more difficulty than they first realized.  They also increasingly realized how often a serious confrontation would end up being a Tactics issue that needed to be resolved with empty hand responses before a weapon could even be brought to bare.

DLO 1,2 and 3 were real eye openers to a lot of officers when they had a chance to watch them.  Thanks to Marc Denny and Gabe Suarez for everything you guys have been doing.  It's filtering out some top notch stuff.  I look forward to bringing a group to Bloomington, IL. in October.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: lonelydog on August 16, 2010, 01:13:51 PM
Tail wags for the kind words SgtMac.  I look forward to working with you and yours.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on November 12, 2010, 10:02:57 AM
(http://pajamasmedia.com/files/2010/11/aaron-shannon-thumbnail_11-10-10.jpg)

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/a-childs-death-in-no-mans-land/?singlepage=true

A Child’s Death in No-Man’s Land
Few parents fret over the prospect of their child getting shot in the backyard. What kind of a place must it be where they do?
November 11, 2010 - by Jack Dunphy


For a five-year old boy, there are few events in life that can bring such sublime flights of anticipation as Halloween. Yes, Christmas is up there, with the season’s lights and decorations and promise of long-wished-for presents. And birthdays, too, have their attractions. Along with the gifts comes the advantage of being an entire year older, and what five-year-old boy doesn’t dream of finally attaining the maturity and exalted status of a six-year-old.

Aaron Shannon Jr. won’t see his sixth birthday. On the afternoon of Halloween, as he counted down the minutes to nightfall and the adventure of trick-or-treating, he was shot and killed in his backyard. He was wearing his Spider-Man costume when he died.

Most parents fret over the hazards of Halloween: the strangers, the traffic, the effects of big sugar on little bellies. Few parents fret over the prospect of their child getting shot in the backyard. What kind of a place must it be where they do?

Such a place is the neighborhood around 84th Street and Central Avenue, in South Central Los Angeles, where Aaron lived and died.

A visitor to Los Angeles might arrive at LAX and drive east on Manchester Avenue for twenty minutes or so and then turn north on Central Avenue, where, miles in the distance straight ahead, he would see the gleaming steel and glass towers of downtown.  On clear afternoons, as it was on Halloween, the setting sun reflects off those buildings to create a brilliant tableau, but the visitor would note that the scenery on either side of Central is far less spectacular: drab storefronts, modest apartment buildings, and a few neighborhood churches. The visitor wouldn’t detect any significant differences between the east side of the street and the west side.

But there is a huge difference, one that is well known to all who live and work in the area. Aaron lived on the west side of Central, in a neighborhood claimed by a particular street gang. Another street gang claims the territory to the east of Central, and when members of each gang cross that great divide into the other’s turf, they almost always do so in search of trouble.

Police claim that on the afternoon of Oct. 31, two members of the gang from the east side of Central Avenue crossed that invisible boundary hoping to settle the score for an earlier shooting. They walked down the alley behind Aaron’s house looking for targets and, on seeing people in a backyard, one of them raised a pistol and opened fire. Aaron’s grandfather and uncle were struck in an arm and a leg, respectively, and survived. Aaron, little Spider-Man, was shot in the head and never had a chance. Police say no one in the family belonged to a gang.

If you don’t live in Los Angeles — and perhaps even if you do — chances are you hadn’t heard what happened to Aaron Shannon Jr. But no matter where you live, if you follow the news at all you’ve surely heard of Oscar Grant, the man shot and killed in Oakland, California, by a BART police officer in the early morning of January 1, 2009. Grant’s death sparked rioting in Oakland, as did the outcome of the prosecution of the officer who shot him. Johannes Mehserle was charged with murder but a jury convicted him of involuntary manslaughter and he was sentenced to two years in prison.

Both the verdict and the sentence were well within the law and entirely foreseeable, yet they nonetheless brought outraged cries from those quarters where such cries have come to be expected. And accompanying the outraged cries were the looting and vandalism which, alas, have also come to be expected.

On Nov. 5, the day Mehserle was sentenced, demonstrators gathered outside the Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles (the trial had been moved from Alameda County on a defense motion for a change of venue). Many held signs adorned with a simple message: “I am Oscar Grant.”

If you were to listen to those who protested on behalf of Oscar Grant, you might have the impression that the greatest threat to any black man in Oakland — or Los Angeles or any city you choose — is posed by racist cops itching for an excuse to gun him down. But about seven people are murdered each month in Oakland, nearly all of them young black men shot by other young black men. And yet as those bodies pile up no one marches, no one shouts, no one seems outraged in the least by the carnage.

On Nov. 6, a candlelight vigil was held at the LAPD’s 77th Street police station in memory of Aaron. Less than a hundred people attended, judging from the brief video report shown on the local news. There was no screaming, no hysterics, not even calls for vengeance against the two men accused of killing Aaron. And there most certainly was no mob rushing off to the nearest Foot Locker store to help themselves to the latest models from Nike. And if the two men accused of murdering Aaron somehow manage to beat the case or bargain for a reduced sentence, that too will be greeted not with outrage but rather with sad resignation.

I don’t begrudge Oscar Grant and his family the sympathy they’ve received. His death was indeed tragic and, whatever his faults, he left behind people who loved him. But of all those people demonstrating outside the L.A. courthouse in his name, I doubt a single one of them could have told you who Aaron Shannon Jr. was.

And that’s something to scream about.

“Jack Dunphy” is the pseudonym of an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. The opinions expressed are his own and almost certainly do not reflect those of the LAPD management.
Title: Hamilton Police shooting video (April 2010)
Post by: Stickgrappler on December 12, 2010, 09:41:13 PM
Woof all:

Think this thread is more appropriate to post in than the "Video Clips of Interest" thread. Searched the forum for "Hamilton Police" and nothing found. A friend sent me this.

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/vmix_cdf93fba-47ca-11df-9f5c-001cc4c002e0.htm

~sg



Title: Bean Bags vs. Bullets
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 20, 2010, 02:09:43 PM
"Border Patrol Agent Terry and the BORTAC team were under standing orders to always use ("non-lethal") bean-bag rounds first before using live ammunition. When the smugglers heard the first rounds, they returned fire with real bullets, and Agent Terry was killed in that exchange. Real bullets outperform bean bags every time."
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: JDN on December 20, 2010, 11:07:09 PM
Gotta admit, "Real bullets outperform bean bags every time".

In and of itself, that's a true statement...   :-)

But is it also true...

"Border Patrol Agent Terry and the BORTAC team were under standing orders to always use ("non-lethal") bean-bag rounds first before using live ammunition."

Seems like a story (rumor without factual support) traveling fast across the internet with no substance so far.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 21, 2010, 09:51:37 AM
Source?  Fair enough.  It was sent to me by a friend who is a senior US Marshal.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: G M on December 21, 2010, 10:05:04 AM
With this administration? I can't dismiss it, something that stupid would be quite consistent with all their other stupid moves.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues
Post by: JDN on December 21, 2010, 10:07:06 AM
Thank you.
It may well be true; but obviously, (no offense) these are not his words or opinion. That exact same language is all over the internet;
it looks more like a unsubstantiated rumor.  But I am sure the truth will come out.  It will be interesting to see what truly did happened.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 16, 2011, 09:45:23 AM
Three U.S. marshals shot in Elkins; assailant killed
By Gary A. HarkiThe Charleston Gazette

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Three U.S. marshals were shot while trying to serve a warrant in Elkins this morning. The man who shot them was then killed by law enforcement, according to sources close to the investigation.

The marshals and State Police troopers were at the home of Charles Smith at about 8:30 a.m. to serve a warrant on him for failing to appear in court on possession of drugs and firearms charges, according to sources.  After announcing that they were there to serve a warrant, officers breached the door and stepped into the house.

Smith then opened fire with a shotgun, hitting one marshal in the neck, one in his bulletproof vest and one in the arm or hand, according to sources.  A marshal and trooper then fired at Smith, killing him, according to sources. The trooper likely fired the shot that killed him, sources say.

The marshal shot through the neck was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. His condition is unknown.

A statement from the U.S. Marshal's office confirmed that three marshals were shot and that two were taken to a local hospital for treatment and one was transported by helicopter.

State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous could only confirm that there was a shooting incident in Elkins while officers attempted to serve a warrant.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: prentice crawford on February 17, 2011, 12:09:35 AM
Woof,
 One of the shot Marshals died as a result of his wounds.
                P.C.
Title: Law Enforcement Officer - RIP
Post by: Spartan Dog on February 19, 2011, 10:36:31 AM
Posted on behalf of Crafty Dog...this young man was not yet 25.

                 (http://dogbrothers.com/kostas/Derek.jpg)

Title: Officer dies saving child
Post by: G M on February 19, 2011, 10:46:24 AM
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/02/18/mayor_1_officer_shot_3_hurt_in_ny_gunman_dead/

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.—A police officer died hours after being shot in the head Friday during an exchange of gunfire that killed a man who fatally shot a woman near a train station, authorities said.

Poughkeepsie Police Chief Ron Knapp released a statement saying the 44-year-old officer died at about 9:05 p.m.

The name of the officer, an 18-year veteran, was withheld out of respect for the family and pending notification of his relatives.

The gunman shot a woman to death in a car hours earlier, then was himself fatally shot minutes later in the struggle with police, including an officer who had taken a 3-year-old from the man and handed the child to a bystander, police said.

Knapp said it appeared the gunman shot the officer, but it wasn't immediately clear whether he was then killed by police gunfire or if he shot himself. Police didn't say whether the wounded officer was the one who'd taken the child from the man.

Knapp said he believes the man and woman who were killed were husband and wife and weren't from Poughkeepsie, a city of about 30,000 people about 70 miles south of Albany in New York's Hudson Valley. Their names have not been released.

A second officer suffered minor injuries and a half dozen others were involved, Knapp said.

Officers responded to a report of gunfire at about 1 p.m. and one saw the man leaving the scene with a child in his arms and thought the man had been involved.

When the officer tried to confront him, the man ran away, Knapp said. The officer caught the man, took the child from him and handed the toddler to a bystander. It was during that second confrontation that the 44-year-old officer was shot.
Title: Here is the factual support
Post by: G M on March 03, 2011, 09:36:00 AM
Gotta admit, "Real bullets outperform bean bags every time".

In and of itself, that's a true statement...   :-)

But is it also true...

"Border Patrol Agent Terry and the BORTAC team were under standing orders to always use ("non-lethal") bean-bag rounds first before using live ammunition."

Seems like a story (rumor without factual support) traveling fast across the internet with no substance so far.

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/article_681d29cf-845a-5aea-9f34-3837d70b8a31.html

Border Patrol agents shot beanbags at a group of suspected bandits before the men returned fire during a confrontation in a remote canyon, killing agent Brian Terry with a single gunshot, records show.

And an illegal immigrant wounded in the gunbattle who is now the only person in custody linked to the slaying contends he never fired a shot, according to FBI search warrant requests filed in the U.S. District Court in Tucson.

The documents provide the most detailed version yet of what happened in the deadly gunbattle Dec. 14 in Peck Canyon, northwest of Nogales.

The documents say the group of illegal border entrants refused commands to drop their weapons after agents confronted them at about 11:15 p.m. Two agents fired beanbags at the migrants, who responded with gunfire. Two agents returned fire, one with a long gun and one with a pistol, but Terry was mortally wounded in the gunfight.

Border Patrol officials declined to answer questions about protocol for use of force, citing the ongoing investigation.

But Terry's brother, Kent Terry, said the other agents who were there that night told him that they were instructed to use the non-lethal beanbags first. It's a policy that doesn't make sense to Kent Terry.

"You go up against a bandit crew that is carrying AKs, and you walk out there with guns loaded with beanbags - I don't get it," Terry said in a phone interview from Michigan. "It's like going to the Iraqi war with one knife. It boggles my mind. ... These guys (Border Patrol agents) are professionals; they should be able to use their judgment call on their own."

On the night of the deadly encounter, agents were trying to apprehend at least five suspected illegal immigrants. One agent, using thermal binoculars, spotted two men carrying rifles. When the group came close, at least one agent identified himself as police and ordered the men to drop their weapons.

Here's how the rest of the events are described in the FBI document:

"When the suspected aliens did not drop their weapons, two Border Patrol agents deployed 'less than lethal' beanbags at the suspected aliens. At this time, at least one of the suspected aliens fired at the Border Patrol agents. Two Border Patrol agents returned fire, one with his long gun and one with his pistol.

"Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot with one bullet and died shortly after. One of the suspected illegal aliens, later identified as Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, was also shot."

The search warrants were requested to examine fingerprints and a hair sample from Osorio-Arellanes, who was one of four men arrested that night near the shooting scene. The other three arrested, illegal immigrants from Mexico, have been cleared in connection with the crime and deported back to their home countries.

Osorio-Arellanes has not been charged in connection with the fatal shooting. He has been charged only with illegal re-entry after deportation and is awaiting a May 10 trial. The FBI document represents the first time his name has been included in a public document related to the shooting.

Two days after the shooting, Osorio-Arellanes agreed to talk to FBI agents. He was traveling with four others that night, all of whom were armed, Osorio-Arellanes told investigators, according to the document.

"Osorio-Arellanes stated that he had raised his weapon towards the Border Patrol agents, but he did not fire because he realized that they were Border Patrol agents," the search warrant says. "At this time, he was shot."
Title: U.S. Marshal Dies of Shooting Injuries
Post by: G M on March 10, 2011, 02:42:31 PM
U.S. Marshal Dies of Shooting Injuries

Wednesday, March 09 2011

(St. Louis, MO) -- A United States Marshal involved in a shoot-out in St. Louis Wednesday, died from his injuries last night.
Another marshal was wounded in the incident as was a St. Louis police officer.

The suspect also died after being shot by police during the standoff.

Tuesday morning, Marshals went to the door of a 36 year old man to serve a drug warrant.
Officers say the man opened fire.     

One marshal was shot and critically wounded.  He later died.  He is now identified as Deputy U.S. Marshal John Perry.

The other marshal, Theodore Abegg, is in fair condition. The police officer has minor injuries.

Three children inside the house were taken to a neighbor's home before the shooting started.
Title: Police Officer Jay Sheridan
Post by: G M on March 10, 2011, 02:45:51 PM
Police Officer Jay Sheridan
Limon Police Department
Colorado
End of Watch: Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Biographical Info
Age: 27
Tour of Duty: 6 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Committed suicide

Officer Jay Sheridan was shot and killed as he and other officers
served a fugitive arrest warrant at approximately 6:10 pm.

As the officers entered the mobile home where the subject lived
the man opened fire on them, fatally wounding Officer Sheridan.
Two other officers on the scene remained in another room in the
home and called for assistance.

The subject was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound
later in the evening after a SWAT team made entry into the
home.

Officer Sheridan had served with the Limon Police Department for
six years. He is survived by his wife and child.
Title: 38 thus far
Post by: G M on March 10, 2011, 02:50:18 PM
Line of duty deaths for 2011.
Title: Re: U.S. Marshal Dies of Shooting Injuries
Post by: bigdog on March 10, 2011, 05:40:00 PM
U.S. Marshal Dies of Shooting Injuries

Wednesday, March 09 2011

(St. Louis, MO) -- A United States Marshal involved in a shoot-out in St. Louis Wednesday, died from his injuries last night.
Another marshal was wounded in the incident as was a St. Louis police officer.

The suspect also died after being shot by police during the standoff.

Tuesday morning, Marshals went to the door of a 36 year old man to serve a drug warrant.
Officers say the man opened fire.     

One marshal was shot and critically wounded.  He later died.  He is now identified as Deputy U.S. Marshal John Perry.

The other marshal, Theodore Abegg, is in fair condition. The police officer has minor injuries.

Three children inside the house were taken to a neighbor's home before the shooting started.


http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/article_e59ccd47-e002-53f7-ba80-2d120bd4b141.html
Title: 42
Post by: G M on March 14, 2011, 04:31:06 PM
LEOs killed in the line of duty this year.
Title: Re: Here is the factual support
Post by: Sheep Dog on March 14, 2011, 04:41:40 PM
Agent Terry was armed with a pistol and rifle. There was no "non-lethal" first shot policy in effect, per BP, and DHS.

For an excellent discussion of use of force read the interview with John Bostaine posted in this thread, he was an instructor of mine, along with thousands of others and he has to be the best speaker I have ever heard on use of force, and the decisions behind them.

Gotta admit, "Real bullets outperform bean bags every time".

In and of itself, that's a true statement...   :-)

But is it also true...

"Border Patrol Agent Terry and the BORTAC team were under standing orders to always use ("non-lethal") bean-bag rounds first before using live ammunition."

Seems like a story (rumor without factual support) traveling fast across the internet with no substance so far.

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/article_681d29cf-845a-5aea-9f34-3837d70b8a31.html

Border Patrol agents shot beanbags at a group of suspected bandits before the men returned fire during a confrontation in a remote canyon, killing agent Brian Terry with a single gunshot, records show.

And an illegal immigrant wounded in the gunbattle who is now the only person in custody linked to the slaying contends he never fired a shot, according to FBI search warrant requests filed in the U.S. District Court in Tucson.

The documents provide the most detailed version yet of what happened in the deadly gunbattle Dec. 14 in Peck Canyon, northwest of Nogales.

The documents say the group of illegal border entrants refused commands to drop their weapons after agents confronted them at about 11:15 p.m. Two agents fired beanbags at the migrants, who responded with gunfire. Two agents returned fire, one with a long gun and one with a pistol, but Terry was mortally wounded in the gunfight.

Border Patrol officials declined to answer questions about protocol for use of force, citing the ongoing investigation.

But Terry's brother, Kent Terry, said the other agents who were there that night told him that they were instructed to use the non-lethal beanbags first. It's a policy that doesn't make sense to Kent Terry.

"You go up against a bandit crew that is carrying AKs, and you walk out there with guns loaded with beanbags - I don't get it," Terry said in a phone interview from Michigan. "It's like going to the Iraqi war with one knife. It boggles my mind. ... These guys (Border Patrol agents) are professionals; they should be able to use their judgment call on their own."

On the night of the deadly encounter, agents were trying to apprehend at least five suspected illegal immigrants. One agent, using thermal binoculars, spotted two men carrying rifles. When the group came close, at least one agent identified himself as police and ordered the men to drop their weapons.

Here's how the rest of the events are described in the FBI document:

"When the suspected aliens did not drop their weapons, two Border Patrol agents deployed 'less than lethal' beanbags at the suspected aliens. At this time, at least one of the suspected aliens fired at the Border Patrol agents. Two Border Patrol agents returned fire, one with his long gun and one with his pistol.

"Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot with one bullet and died shortly after. One of the suspected illegal aliens, later identified as Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, was also shot."

The search warrants were requested to examine fingerprints and a hair sample from Osorio-Arellanes, who was one of four men arrested that night near the shooting scene. The other three arrested, illegal immigrants from Mexico, have been cleared in connection with the crime and deported back to their home countries.

Osorio-Arellanes has not been charged in connection with the fatal shooting. He has been charged only with illegal re-entry after deportation and is awaiting a May 10 trial. The FBI document represents the first time his name has been included in a public document related to the shooting.

Two days after the shooting, Osorio-Arellanes agreed to talk to FBI agents. He was traveling with four others that night, all of whom were armed, Osorio-Arellanes told investigators, according to the document.

"Osorio-Arellanes stated that he had raised his weapon towards the Border Patrol agents, but he did not fire because he realized that they were Border Patrol agents," the search warrant says. "At this time, he was shot."
Title: Orange County deputy dies from illness he caught trying to save infant, Sheriff'
Post by: G M on March 18, 2011, 05:55:44 AM
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/orange-county-deputy-dies-from-illness-he-caught-1327335.html

Orange County deputy dies from illness he caught trying to save infant, Sheriff's Office says
 
Deputy Sebastian Diana, 40, died on Saturday after a more than five-year battle with an undisclosed illness, which the Sheriff's Office said he contracted while on a 911 call in 2006.

By Jeff Weiner

Orlando Sentinel

Updated: 10:23 a.m. Thursday, March 17, 2011

Posted: 8:18 a.m. Thursday, March 17, 2011


An Orange County deputy died this weekend, after a lengthy battle with an illness sheriff's officials said he caught while trying to save the life of an infant.

Deputy Sebastian Diana, 40, died on Saturday after a more than five-year battle with an undisclosed illness, which the Sheriff's Office said he contracted while on a 911 call in 2006.

According to an incident report, Diana was one of three deputies called to an Orange County apartment about 5:20 a.m. on Feb. 27, 2006, where a mother had reported that her 3-month-old boy was not breathing.

Deputies arriving on scene reported finding the child's mother screaming that her baby was dead. The child was lying on a blanket, and was not breathing, deputies said.

As Diana conducted CPR on the boy, he came into contact with the infant's vomit, the Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

"In many ways, the very life that he was trying to save may have cost him his own life," Sheriff's Jerry Demings said.
Title: Nominee for headline of the year
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 22, 2011, 08:15:26 AM

http://www.wyff4.com/news/27200800/detail.html
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on March 22, 2011, 09:36:56 AM
I am not questioning the facts in this instance, but I find it amazing, as do my criminal attorney friends, how many suspects supposedly "volunteer" and "agree" to let police
search them, or their home, etc.

"The deputy called for another officer to assist and searched Foster’s car after he agreed to allow it. The deputies said Foster also agreed to let them search his person."
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on March 22, 2011, 09:40:14 AM
A lot of badguys assume it'll be a cursory search and evidence won't be found and think that refusing a search is more suspect. Also, many criminals are dumb as dirt, which helps.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on March 22, 2011, 09:45:36 AM
I'm curious, in this situation, if the guy had politely refused (it was a traffic stop) the strip search and refused
to let his car be searched what would have happened?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on March 22, 2011, 09:56:56 AM
Well, once they found he was driving under suspension (assuming it's an arrestable offense in S.C.) you have a "search incident to arrest".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Searches_incident_to_a_lawful_arrest

In most cases, a search warrant is required to perform a lawful search. An long-recognized exception to this requirement is searches incident to a lawful arrest.[1] This rule permits an officer to perform a warrantless search during or immediately after a lawful arrest. This search is limited to only the person arrested and the area immediately surrounding the person in which the person may gain possession of a weapon, in some way effect an escape, or destroy or hide evidence.[2]

In the case of Arizona v. Gant (April 21, 2009) the Supreme Court ruled a further exemption in that the police can search a car following arrest only if they could have a reasonable belief that the person arrested "could have accessed his car at the time of the search" or "that evidence of the offense for which he was arrested might have been found therein."

Note that the crack was located when he was booked into jail:


Deputies said that Foster’s vehicle was towed from the scene and Foster was transported to the Spartanburg County Detention Center, where, in accordance with normal procedures, he was stripped searched. In that search, the officer said he found a large white crack rock inside a clear bag tucked between Foster’s buttocks.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on March 22, 2011, 10:13:29 AM
Thank you.

I wasn't very clear in my question.  I don't really care about Foster, but let's say you did not have an arrestable offense (I understand your point) and the individual refused to be searched.

What would the police do if they had merely "noticed a leafy substance on the floor of the driver’s side, and the car smelled of cologne" and the individual refused to be searched?  I assume
a warrant would be required, but probably would not be requested (too much hassle; too little evidence) or maybe not even granted if requested?  Agreed?

I'm looking for a generic answer.  You think someone is selling/doing drugs.  You knock on his door.  You ask to come in; he says no, he is happy to talk with you outside.  Again, probably you do
not have grounds for a warrant merely because he refused your entry/search, do you?



Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on March 22, 2011, 10:26:12 AM
Well, the "leafy substance" on the floor seen by the officer could potentially be PC for a search of the vehicle/occupants, again depending on the applicable laws and the perception of the officer. Generally, searches with warrants, with consent are better. I'm sure when the officers smelt the cologne and saw the "leafy substance", they knew they had something, but wanted to build the case.

"I'm looking for a generic answer.  You think someone is selling/doing drugs.  You knock on his door.  You ask to come in; he says no, he is happy to talk with you outside.  Again, probably you do
not have grounds for a warrant merely because he refused your entry/search, do you?"

That tactic is commonly known in law enforcement as a "knock and talk". A LEO, just like anyone, can go to your door and ask to come in. Just as with a Mormon missionary or salesperson, you are free to say yes or no. Refusal is not grounds for a warrant.

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on March 22, 2011, 10:30:20 AM
Thank you.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on March 22, 2011, 10:32:46 AM
    "A knock and talk encounter is a procedure ordinarily used by police officers to investigate a complaint where there is no probable cause for a search warrant.

    "In employing this procedure, police officers knock on the door, try to make contact with persons inside, and talk to them about the subject of the complaints underlying the investigation. Such a consensual encounter may lead to a request by the police for voluntary consent to conduct a search.

    "Courts generally have upheld the knock-and-talk investigative procedure as a legitimate effort to obtain a suspect's consent to search.

    "The key to the legitimacy of the knock-and-talk technique - as well as any other technique employed to obtain consent to search - is the absence of coercive police conduct, including any express or implied assertion of authority to enter or authority to search. In properly initiating a knock-and-talk encounter, the police should not deploy overbearing tactics that essentially force the individual out of the home. Nor should overbearing tactics be employed in gaining entry to a dwelling or in obtaining consent to search."
Title: Not a shining moment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 23, 2011, 08:36:27 AM
NYC Subway Hero Says Police Initially Left Him to Fend for Himself Against Killer - FoxNews.com

New evidence shows two police officers who were aboard the subway car where the attack occurred locked themselves into the safe confines of the conductor’s cabin because they thought the suspect, Maxsim Gelman, was reaching for a gun as he approached Joseph Lozito, Edmond Chakmakian, Lozito’s attorney, said.

...a grand jury member told Lozito that jurors were appalled when they heard a police officer's version of the story...

“The juror said cops locked themselves inside because they thought Gelman was going to pull out a gun,” Chakmakian said. “What were the police officers waiting for, an engraved invitation?”
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on March 23, 2011, 11:29:50 AM
Not at all.....




Fraaaaaaak!  :x
Title: TN Officer Killed In Gun Battle With Colorado Fugitive
Post by: G M on April 05, 2011, 06:15:39 AM
http://policelink.monster.com/news/articles/152641-tn-officer-killed-in-gun-battle-with-colorado-fugitive?comment_page=2&utm_source=nlet&utm_content=pl_c1_20110405_gunbattle_mem

Chatanoogs Times Free Press via YellowBrix

April 04, 2011

CHATTANOOGA, TN – One by one, slowly, people started to come forward Sunday.

Some laid flowers beside the tape barrier outside the U.S. Money Shops store on Brainerd Road.

They didn’t personally know 51-year-old Chattanooga Police Department Sgt. Tim Chapin, but they mourned his loss.

“I’m just heartbroken,” said 62-year-old JoAnn Cook, choked with emotion, as she clutched a small vase of daisies adorned with a small American flag. “I grew up in Chattanooga. I can’t believe this happened. I just wanted to leave something.”

Behind her, 11 large bullet holes showed in the glass doors of the U.S. Money Shops, a pawnshop that was the scene of a gunbattle after a robbery Saturday.

Chapin, a 27-year veteran, was shot to death while pursuing the robbery suspect. Officer Lorin Johnston was hit in the back by a bullet but protected by body armor.

The suspect, Jesse R. Mathews, was also shot and remained hospitalized Sunday with no information available on his condition.

On Sunday, red tape X’s left by crime scene technicians showed where the battle unfolded on a road behind the pawnshop.

Chattanooga police said Chapin was one of three or four officers who answered the robbery alarm at 10:24 a.m. to the store at 5952 Brainerd Road. Police said the robber fired out the front door, then ran out a side door with police in pursuit. The robber shot at police during a 200-yard pursuit. Chapin hit the man with his car, but the man got back up and fired.

Chapin was shot in the head and died in just moments.

Several officers returned fire and took the suspect down. Colorado records show Mathews recently was paroled on a robbery conviction.

His Facebook page shows a picture of him with his chest and upper arms covered in tattoos of handguns, knives, bullets and brass knuckles.


 Jesse Mathews

Chapin’s death hung on the minds of people who knew him and some who didn’t.

His usual table at Starbucks on Brainerd Road bore an empty coffee cup, a copy of the Times Free Press with the headline, “A city mourns,” and a hand-lettered sign: “This seat is closed out of respect for Officer Tim where he sat every day for the past two years.”

He had enjoyed his usual tall decaf coffee earlier Saturday morning.

“We were really, really busy that day. He managed to sit down for a few minutes, but then he darted out,” said Michelle Wade, who works as a barista at the coffeehouse.

She said the shift manager came up with the idea of reserving the table. Patrons reflected on the image as they stood in line before giving their order.

“I wrote the sign and we put it up. People are just looking at it. Nobody has sat there. It’s been quiet,” she said.

At Chapin’s church, Abba’s House Central Baptist in Hixson, the sermon was dedicated to the slain officer. He had been a member for 22 years.
Title: Two BP Agents down in AZ
Post by: G M on May 12, 2011, 10:42:14 AM
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/12/us-arizona-accident-idUSTRE74B52220110512

(Reuters) - Two U.S. Border Patrol agents were killed when their vehicle was struck by a freight train in southern Arizona as they pursued a group of suspected illegal immigrants, authorities said on Thursday, .

Lieutenant Justin Griffin of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said the freight train struck the agent's vehicle near Gila Bend, about 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, at around 6 a.m. local time.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said in a statement that two agents were from the Border Patrol's Yuma sector, in far west Arizona.

Yuma sector Border Patrol spokesman Kenneth Quillin told Reuters the agents were assisting colleagues "that were following a group of suspected illegal entrants ... coming from Mexico into the United States" when their vehicle was struck.

Television news images showed a badly damaged black sport utility vehicle straddling rail tracks in the path of a Union Pacific freight train.

The Arizona Republic newspaper reported that the vehicle was shunted for a quarter of a mile before the train came to a stop.

CBP said the incident was currently under investigation, and the names of the agents were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: jcordova on May 12, 2011, 11:22:21 AM
http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpps/news/local/2-border-patrol-agents-injured-in-train-collision-05122011_13168997
Title: LEO fired for rendering assistance to officers under fire , , ,
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 08, 2011, 08:06:23 AM
Unfg believable , , ,

http://policelink.monster.com/news/articles/155192-cop-fired-for-responding-to-officer-down-call?utm_source=nlet&utm_content=pl_c1_20110608_fired
Title: Re: LEO fired for rendering assistance to officers under fire , , ,
Post by: G M on June 08, 2011, 08:16:36 AM
Unfg believable , , ,

http://policelink.monster.com/news/articles/155192-cop-fired-for-responding-to-officer-down-call?utm_source=nlet&utm_content=pl_c1_20110608_fired

I can believe it, unfortunately. Hopefully he finds a better job with a better dept.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on June 08, 2011, 08:33:50 AM
While I admire the man's courage, he was a private employee Rice University and he was a only a private Campus Security/Police Officer - a far cry from a fully trained Public Police Officer. 
He is an employee on the school grounds like any other employee - he was hired as a private citizen to protect and patrol the campus, not the city of Houston. 

Without authorization he left the campus possibly endangering students/staff at the campus. NOR did he even notify the campus for an hour after he had left.  Further, he endangered himself,
imposing a liability upon the school - for example if he shot an innocent bystander or if he himself had gotten shot. 

Imagine you are a store owner.  Your employee leaves the store open, runs out the door, doesn't tell you where he is going, never calls you for an hour after he leaves and
you find out he went into town to help the police.  You might think nice guy for helping the police, but then again do you want people suddenly leaving their job
without authorization, not checking in, and possibly imposing additional liability on you?  As a store owner, I probably would fire him too.  And say Sorry, next time follow
the rules.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on June 08, 2011, 08:40:09 AM

http://rupd.rice.edu/about.cfm

Our Authority

Under the Texas Education Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 51, Rice University is authorized to operate its own police department. The department is staffed by 25 licensed and commissioned police officers, 4 security guards, 5 dispatchers, 2 ticket writers, and 4 support personnel. Officers patrol the campus twenty-four hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
All police officers have completed their training at a state-approved police academy and have the same authority and power as any other police agency within the State of Texas. Police officers enforce all applicable federal, state, county, and city laws as well as university regulations.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on June 08, 2011, 09:23:17 AM
Did you read your own link?  They are NOT fully trained Police Officers.  They are licensed and "trained" campus police.  Houston Police have much greater training. 
Further note they are not a member of the Police Union.

Heck, as a private citizen I have the "authority" to jump in my car and assist an officer down.  That doesn't necessarily make it smart.

The Officer should have stayed on Campus or at minimum requested permission to leave.

Read you own link.

Protecting the "University Community" i.e. on campus is what they do.  NOT the City of Houston.

"What We Do"

"Rice University Police Department takes the lead in providing a safe environment for the university community by protecting life and property. To achieve this protection, RUPD maintains patrols to deter and detect crime, to report fires and safety hazards, and to control traffic on campus.  The police department is also responsible for investigating all crimes that occur on campus."
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on June 08, 2011, 09:53:53 AM
Did you read your own link?  They are NOT fully trained Police Officers. 

Let's try this again. "All police officers have completed their training at a state-approved police academy and have the same authority and power as any other police agency within the State of Texas. Police officers enforce all applicable federal, state, county, and city laws as well as university regulations."
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on June 08, 2011, 10:08:26 AM
Yes, let's try again.  I do not question that they the same authority and power as any other police agency within the State of Texas. 

Here in Los Angeles, UCLA's campus police have the same authority and power as any other police agency within the State of CA.

So?

That doesn't mean they have the same training.  Or the same experience.  Or the same responsibilities.  As a Houston Public
Police Officer.  Or the LAPD.

As employees of Rice University, they are campus police officers whose duty is to protect "the campus".
Not to mention, as an employee of the University to follow the University's rules while on duty.


Back to my point, the point; he probably should have been fired.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 08, 2011, 03:29:19 PM
Well, cross you off a list of people for whom I would want to work :lol:
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on June 08, 2011, 03:37:26 PM
Well, I guess if you admitted you couldn't/wouldn't follow company policy, I wouldn't hire you either.
Then again, I bet a lot of companies wouldn't hire you for exactly the same reason.

No wonder you work for yourself!   :-)
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 08, 2011, 04:05:14 PM
There was about a 15 year period in my youth (about 15 to 30 years of age) when every single dream I had, had a policeman in it somewhere.  Can we say "Issues with authority"?  :lol:

More seriously now, I profoundly disrespect the values of corporations, police departments, etc that do as was done here.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on June 08, 2011, 04:18:23 PM
I understand you point(s).   :-)  I too always had issues with authorities; that's why I quit the corporate world.

But addressing your "serious" points, you are a businessman.  To protect yourself you incorporated.  Further, you
require waivers of all fighters.  You try to limit your liability.  Of course. 

These corporations/schools are merely doing the same.  Morally, I probably agree with you, I understand, but practically,
in today's litigious society, the entities need to protect themselves first.  First, he left the school without permission and unguarded
or at least, his help on campus may have been needed.  Further, the school is liable for any actions he takes; let's say
he shoots an innocent bystander, or perhaps he gets shot.  The school again would be liable.

Better to let the qualified and well trained real police, not campus police solve the problem.

If you are the School Chief of Police, or President of a Corporation, why expose yourself to this liability?  Your first duty
is to your school, corporation, etc.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on June 08, 2011, 05:10:22 PM
Since you know so much about law enforcement, JDN, why don't you explain how mutual aid agreements work between campus police agencies and other law enforcement agencies.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on June 08, 2011, 07:39:41 PM
Since you know so much about law enforcement, JDN, why don't you explain how mutual aid agreements work between campus police agencies and other law enforcement agencies.

I think you have me confused with someone else; I never dreamt of being a policeman.   :-)

That said, common sense says, that "mutual aid agreements" are agreed to at top management level.  If called upon and mutually agreed upon by those in authority, they coordinate activities.  The key in this case (and most cases involving a private employer), is there is no excuse; he did not have authorization and he put his campus at risk.  This is a campus police officer, who leaves his post on the school, goes off campus, without permission from anyone in authority at his school and does not contact his employer for an hour after he has left.   :-o  I think he is simply rogue, albeit with good intentions, but he deserved to get fired.  Obviously Rice University agreed with me.   :-D
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 08, 2011, 09:21:49 PM
Officers were down.  Some men will run towards the sound of the guns.  Others will do nothing.  Some are sheep dogs, and some are sheep.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on June 09, 2011, 07:02:01 AM
Here in Los Angeles, UCLA's campus police have the same authority and power as any other police agency within the State of CA.

So?

That doesn't mean they have the same training.  Or the same experience.  Or the same responsibilities.  As a Houston Public
Police Officer.  Or the LAPD.

So exactly what training do they lack? What exactly do you know about law enforcement training that allows you to make that judgement?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on June 09, 2011, 07:50:04 AM
Good grief; they are wanna be cops.  Their primary function it seems is to break up fraternity parties.

But that is not the point.  I don't care if he was a former SWAT or SEAL. 

He abandoned his post without authorization, he left the campus community, endangering students, employees, and the campus.  Further, against direct orders, he never contacted his superiors for
over one hour, and exposed the school to significant liability.  He was appropriately fired for dereliction of duty.  Nearly all private employers would do the same.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 09, 2011, 08:28:04 AM
Try looking the widow of the fallen officer in the eye when her man died because your employee did not come to his aid for fear of losing his job.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: bigdog on June 09, 2011, 09:50:41 AM
I have heard from people in the know that retired police officers make bad body guards because their attention can be drawn away from their protectorate by situations such as arguments, fights, and other real or simulated issues.  The desire to help is not a bad thing, but situations can dictate the type of help given.  In this case, I think he was morally correct to enter the fight.  However, JDN is right about the hole in the Rice security due to his departure. 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 09, 2011, 03:05:46 PM
For which I can see a notation being made in his record and his being told "Next time let us know promptly where you are" and that sort of thing, but to fire him?  Wrong, very wrong.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: bigdog on June 09, 2011, 03:35:26 PM
I am not supporting him being fired.  Let me say, however, that you can reverse your earlier question.  How do you, as a Rice administrator, explain a campus shooter and being a man short at the time?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on June 09, 2011, 04:16:51 PM
Ok, a few points from someone with firsthand experience.

If a officer cannot be located, it's a big deal. No matter if it's a time check (Some agencies do a radio roll call on a hourly, or 30 minute basis if a officer is not coded out) or dispatch or another officer tries to contact the officer and the officer cannot be reached, everything stops until the officer is located.

Now, sometimes it's something minor like a radio glitch, or the officer is on foot and didn't turn his pacset (portable radio) on or on some models, the rotary switch at the top of the radio can brush against the seat as you get out of your vehicle and switch you to another channel (This has happened to me more than once). Usually, if you are off the air, dispatch starts calling your cell phone and office phone and says "call out 10-4". You then fix your radio, and say "Unit # 10-4".

Now, if this isn't quickly resolved, then a full bore search starts and senior level staff get notified at home. Other agencies get called to assist and the whole world stops until the missing officer is located. Now, everything depends on why the officer was missing. Radio problem, legitimate line of duty issue or misconduct.

Now, an officer who rolls in hot to assist a "Shots fired, officer down!" call is very different from one who is sleeping or banging his girlfriend. Corrective actions and formal discipline needs to be rational and reasonable. From the news article, there were two other officers on duty at the time. I'm willing to bet that because of the various scheduling issues that law enforcement tends to face, there are times the campus only has one or two officers on duty at a time on other days.

49 out of 50 states have a POST Board (Or some other name) for a reason. It means everyone who carries a badge and gun with arrest authority knows how to do the core elements of the job, which includes dealing with various levels of violence, including gunfights. It doesn't matter if you are a big city cop, a rural sheriff's deputy, a state trooper, Game Warden, DA's Investigator, campus police or any other peace officer, you are trained to a standard determined by the state to do the core elements of the job with others from other agencies. Current active shooter/rapid deployment doctrine says if there is an active shooter(s), everyone with a badge and a gun rapidly proceeds to the scene, forms into a team and rapidly moves to the shooter(s) and negates the threat. It doesn't matter what color the uniform is, what the patch and badge looks like and what level of gov't issues your paycheck.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on June 10, 2011, 07:21:55 AM

 I'm willing to bet that because of the various scheduling issues that law enforcement tends to face, there are times the campus only has one or two officers on duty at a time on other days.


I would take that bet.  The department has 25 police officers on staff.  If one officer is sick, out for the day, whatever, they will just reassign.  More important, IF one of the three
need to leave the campus HG can either reassign officers and/or increase the patrol area.  The dereliction of duty to justify firing was not leaving the campus in my opinion to aid
another officer, but leaving campus without notifying anyone leaving a gaping hole in the school defense.  And then not even reporting in for another hour. 
There is a shooting near the school; that is a VERY big deal to the school, the students, their parents, the employees, etc.  I agree with Bigdog's comment, but I would add
not even knowing you were a man short at the time is worse.

Let me say, however, that you can reverse your earlier question.  How do you, as a Rice administrator, explain a campus shooter and being a man short at the time?

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on June 10, 2011, 08:17:10 AM
Quote from: G M on June 09, 2011, 04:16:51 PM

 I'm willing to bet that because of the various scheduling issues that law enforcement tends to face, there are times the campus only has one or two officers on duty at a time on other days.



I would take that bet.  The department has 25 police officers on staff.  If one officer is sick, out for the day, whatever, they will just reassign.  More important, IF one of the three
need to leave the campus HG can either reassign officers and/or increase the patrol area.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

 
Patrol
The Rice University Police Department patrol division consists of three shifts; the day shift, which runs from 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM, the evening shift from 2:00 PM – 10:00 PM, and the night shift on duty from 10:00 PM – 6:00 AM.  Thirteen commissioned police officers and four non-commissioned security officers staff these three shifts, providing for the safety and security of the university community on a twenty-four basis.

**Ok JDN, take 13 officers and cover 3 shifts keeping in mind sick leave, training, vacation, comp time, court testimony, light duty for injury, FMLA and regular days off and tell me how many officers you have on duty at any given time.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on June 10, 2011, 08:33:17 AM

Patrol
The Rice University Police Department patrol division consists of three shifts; the day shift, which runs from 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM, the evening shift from 2:00 PM – 10:00 PM, and the night shift on duty from 10:00 PM – 6:00 AM.  Thirteen commissioned police officers and four non-commissioned security officers staff these three shifts, providing for the safety and security of the university community on a twenty-four basis.

**Ok JDN, take 13 officers and cover 3 shifts keeping in mind sick leave, training, vacation, comp time, court testimony, light duty for injury, FMLA and regular days off and tell me how many officers you have on duty at any given time.

Is this a trick question?    :?  Maybe I'm missing something here, but why would I want to only "take 13 officers" when I have 25 Officers and 4 security guards that I could use?   :-o

"The department is staffed by 25 licensed and commissioned police officers, 4 security guards, 5 dispatchers, 2 ticket writers, and 4 support personnel. "

Further, exacerbating the problem he went rogue without even telling anyone and continued to be rogue for an hour leaving the campus vulnerable.  If he has simply called
in, the campus could have adjusted patrols to cover his area and protected the students and staff.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on June 10, 2011, 08:56:55 AM
Read it again. 13 police officers in the patrol division, covering 24 hrs. a day, 365 a year.

http://rupd.rice.edu/programs.cfm?doc_id=10978
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on June 10, 2011, 09:36:22 AM
Thank you for the link; your previous link said 25.  Odd, they are authorized to have 25 officers so
they must think 13 commissioned police officers plus 4 security officers; total 17 is enough?

That said, I'ld still take your bet - you said only 1 or 2 officers on duty...   :-)

So on most days maybe even everyday, IF not three officers there will be two officers on duty.  However, I think
you are missing the point, although you did reference the issue of an officer not being in contact.

IF he had said, "I'm leaving, officer down" I bet he never would have been fired.  The campus
could have adjusted to cover his area.  They would know that they were one officer short, one area unprotected. Further,
I am sure they were concerned when they tried to contact him and he did not respond.

You are right, unlike you I am not a police officer.  You know better than I, but is it really difficult
to simply call in and say something like "I'm leaving right now in response to officer down nearby"?
And then a little later to call in and give an update?  I would think training emphasizes communication.
And your first duty is to protect the students and employees.  That is why you were hired and paid a salary.

Instead he just left.  Further, for one hour he never even called in or responded to say he was gone.  IF the shooter
had attacked on the campus, in his assigned area, no one would be there to protect the students or employees.
And the Chief couldn't have done anything about it since he didn't know his officer had just got up and left that
area unprotected.

I can't imagine a situation, i.e. shooter on or near campus, that would put more fear in administrator's hearts.
Or the parents of students.  As bigdog also pointed out, he needed to focus and protect his protectorate first. 

He was working for Rice University, a private employer.  He was hired by Rice to protect the students and employees.
He failed in his duties by exposing the students and the employees to danger.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on June 10, 2011, 10:08:17 AM
Thank you for the link; your previous link said 25.  Odd, they are authorized to have 25 officers so
they must think 13 commissioned police officers plus 4 security officers; total 17 is enough?

That said, I'ld still take your bet - you said only 1 or 2 officers on duty...   

_______________________

There are more sworn personnel than just the line officers in a patrol division. You have the police brass, who are sworn officers, investigators, trainers, any other specialized unit an agency might have.

Looking at the site, we have these positions identified:

William F. Taylor
 -  Chief of Police
Dianna Marshall, Cpt.
 -  Support Services
Phil Hassell, Cpt.
 -  Operations
Jim Baylor, Sgt.
 -  Crime Prevention - Inservice Training
 
Randy Marshall, Sgt.
 -  Police Systems Administrator

So, with 13 in patrol and these 5 in administration, we have 18. What are the other 7 doing? Dunno. A investigations division with at least one supervisor and 2-4 investigators could be reasonable. Some universities have a special events unit that does everything from protective details for visiting dignitaries and related threat assessments, to additional staffing at concerts/sporting events.

Still, with only 13 in patrol, that's 4.3 officers to a shift, not counting regular days off, sick leave, injured officers on light duty, court, training, holidays, FMLA. At best, without overtime, you'll normally have 3 officers per shift, though because of the other factors, you'll more likely to have 2 or one on duty with typical staffing issues every department faces.

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on June 10, 2011, 11:45:25 AM
I am not supporting him being fired.  Let me say, however, that you can reverse your earlier question.  How do you, as a Rice administrator, explain a campus shooter and being a man short at the time?

Aside from staffing issues, mentioned previously, there are regular police duties that tie up officers that would make them unavailable for responding to a worst case scenario, such as an active shooter. For example, a traffic stop that turns into a DUI arrest (a common occurance for campus cops) takes a officer anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to complete, depending on facilities, policy, blood or breath testing, transportation times, backlog at booking, etc.

As mentioned before, this is where mutial aid agreements come in. I bet HPD would be responding to assist Rice Police with anything from additional officers for a large party, to detectives, crime scene unit for a major felony case, SWAT and negotiators for a hostage/barricaded subject call and every available officer for a "active shooter" call.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on June 10, 2011, 05:36:46 PM
Good grief; they are wanna be cops.  Their primary function it seems is to break up fraternity parties.



http://blog.odmp.org/2010/11/yes-campus-police-are-real-cops-too.html
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on June 11, 2011, 06:53:22 AM
I'm sorry to read that some have died in the line of duty.  I never said they did not serve without distinction.  I'm sure mall cops too have died while on duty as well as guards working for Brinks, or banks, etc.  I am sympathetic.  But that doesn't mean they are equal to the LAPD in training or experience.

What I said, was depending upon the campus and the individual is that most of them are "wanna be cops".  Whose "primary function seems to be to break up fraternity parties."  On average, it's an easy job versus being a cop on the beat - that's why even some cops take the job.  Campus police don't have the same initial training, ongoing training, nor day by day experience as LAPD especially with violent crime.  Nor do they have the same authority as regular cops. They patrol the campus, direct the traffic, give out tickets, break up a party or fight, that's basically about it.  For serious crime, the nearby police force is nearly always called in to supervise.

"Court: Campus police can't just arrest people off campus without some connection to the school
The Supreme Judicial Court today threw out drug-related evidence seized by BU police on an I-93 entrance ramp from a man they had no reason to believe had anything to do with BU."

http://www.universalhub.com/2010/court-campus-police-cant-just-arrest-people-campus
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on June 11, 2011, 02:45:21 PM
I'm sorry to read that some have died in the line of duty.  I never said they did not serve without distinction.  I'm sure mall cops too have died while on duty as well as guards working for Brinks, or banks, etc.  I am sympathetic.  But that doesn't mean they are equal to the LAPD in training or experience.

What I said, was depending upon the campus and the individual is that most of them are "wanna be cops".  Whose "primary function seems to be to break up fraternity parties."  On average, it's an easy job versus being a cop on the beat - that's why even some cops take the job.  Campus police don't have the same initial training, ongoing training, nor day by day experience as LAPD especially with violent crime.  Nor do they have the same authority as regular cops. They patrol the campus, direct the traffic, give out tickets, break up a party or fight, that's basically about it.  For serious crime, the nearby police force is nearly always called in to supervise.

"Court: Campus police can't just arrest people off campus without some connection to the school
The Supreme Judicial Court today threw out drug-related evidence seized by BU police on an I-93 entrance ramp from a man they had no reason to believe had anything to do with BU."

http://www.universalhub.com/2010/court-campus-police-cant-just-arrest-people-campus


Your ignorance is amazing. I suggest you go ride along with the UCLA police, but I doubt you have the stones to do that. Each state sets it's standards and authority for law enforcement officers. IN my state, the campus police meet the same standards as city cops, deputy sheriffs, state troopers and every other peace officer with arrest authority and have the same powers of search/seizure and arrest.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on June 11, 2011, 03:31:31 PM
I don't know your state. 

But I wouldn't ride along at UCLA because I would be bored to death although the girls on the UCLA campus are cute.  Or is that what you meant by balls?  :-)

Did you read the link?  Campus police have no authority off campus. If they are off duty they also have no authority. What does that say the State thinks of them?  Many don't carry a gun. Their training and experience isn't close to LAPD's except party patrol, petty theft, traffic and tickets. I know a few. Not too bright.  They are cop wanna be's or burnt out and want an easy job. The schools here in LA's tough neighborboods subcontract with the county Sheriff's dept. Those campus's have real crime and they want professionals on campus. A  badge doesn't make you a professional. Training and experience do. General Campus cops are NOT equal to LAPD. You should know better.

Enough. This conversation like being a campus cop is getting boring. 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 11, 2011, 03:38:33 PM
Is any of this really addressed to the original question
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on June 11, 2011, 04:01:33 PM
I don't know your state. 

But I wouldn't ride along at UCLA because I would be bored to death although the girls on the UCLA campus are cute.  Or is that what you meant by balls?  :-)

Did you read the link?  Campus police have no authority off campus. If they are off duty they also have no authority. What does that say the State thinks of them?  Many don't carry a gun. Their training and experience isn't close to LAPD's except party patrol, petty theft, traffic and tickets. I know a few. Not too bright.  They are cop wanna be's or burnt out and want an easy job. The schools here in LA's tough neighborboods subcontract with the county Sheriff's dept. Those campus's have real crime and they want professionals on campus. A  badge doesn't make you a professional. Training and experience do. General Campus cops are NOT equal to LAPD. You should know better.

Enough. This conversation like being a campus cop is getting boring. 
The link applies to Massachusetts. I don't know Mass. laws. I doubt you do either, JDN. Have you ever pinned on a badge and gone into harm's way? Have you every done anything resembling bravery and self sacrifice in your life? I doubt it. You are the typical leftist, first to besmirch cops and the first to hide behind one if you are ever in need of one's protection.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 11, 2011, 06:54:39 PM
Gentlemen:

Lets steer this back to a more over-the-dinner-table tone please.
Title: And you thought dropping your wallet was bad....
Post by: G M on July 11, 2011, 12:07:44 PM
Man loses stomach in stabbing

Woman sought in attempted murder, assault outside bar.
Posted: Monday, July 11, 2011 12:00 am

By NICK BONHAM | nickb@chieftain.com |


  A 35-year-old man was disemboweled early Sunday after leaving a bar where he had been involved in a scuffle, police said.

  Jesus Gutierrez was stabbed in the abdomen and lost his stomach, said Pueblo police Sgt. Eric Bravo.


  "Mr. Gutierrez's stomach actually fell out of his body cavity. One of our crime scene officers found it, collected it and it was taken to Parkview (Medical Center), but the doctors said there's no way they could attach it," Bravo said.

  Gutierrez's condition was not available Sunday night.

   A warrant for attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault was issued for 22-year-old Shereen Nieves.

  The incident happened after 2 a.m. near Paisano's Bar, 2501 Lake Ave.

  Gutierrez had been in the bar, was involved in a scuffle and the disturbance spilled outside, Bravo said. Police said they believe Nieves stabbed Gutierrez a block from the bar.

  After being stabbed, Bravo said Gutierrez ran to a friend's house for help — about three blocks away on Wyoming Avenue.

  It was along the way that police officers found his stomach.

  A spokeswoman for Parkview said Sunday that because it was the weekend, there was a shortage of doctors on duty and none was available to explain treatment of the injury and what Gutierrez may face medically.

  Detectives were searching for the 5-foot-1, 160-pound Nieves late Sunday.

  Anyone with information of her whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers, 542-7867, or the police department at 549-1200.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Dr Dog on July 11, 2011, 05:15:16 PM
Wow - my knowledge of anatomy is better than most and I am having a heck of a time figuring this one out.
That means at least 2 massive cuts, one on either side of the aorta and avoiding the renal arteries (or  he'd have died promptly)
Or disemboweled and then cut the entrails themselves once they were exposed?
And the guy ran 3 blocks to get help!

This is why I miss the ER work.... my stories now are a lot less interesting.....

Rick
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on July 11, 2011, 05:41:38 PM
I've seen some stabbings and trauma to the abdomen, but you'd have to sever the stomach at both ends as well as the surrounding viscera (sp? Correct term?)

I called a contact there and the media report seems correct.

The victim is circling the drain and the suspect is still in the wind.

Both are flequent fliers in the criminal justice system, from what I was told.
Title: Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry
Post by: G M on August 03, 2011, 05:38:21 PM
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=q0jTJq_VfS8[/youtube]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=q0jTJq_VfS8

I remember you.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Cranewings on August 03, 2011, 06:27:59 PM
Here is a link with some video of the recent Fullerton California killing of a homeless man by their police. This is sickening.

http://educate-yourself.org/cn/fullertonpolicemurderkellythomas28jul11.shtml

I sent them a letter for their pile. I hope they bring these clowns to justice.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on August 03, 2011, 06:35:03 PM
Here is a link with some video of the recent Fullerton California killing of a homeless man by their police. This is sickening.

http://educate-yourself.org/cn/fullertonpolicemurderkellythomas28jul11.shtml

I sent them a letter for their pile. I hope they bring these clowns to justice.

Oh, were you there? Or did the voices tell you what happpened like what they told you about the 9/11 conspiracy?



Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Cranewings on August 04, 2011, 07:04:40 AM
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/07/30/18686492.php

Here is a blog written by a someone claiming to be an eye witness. It is scary to imagine being put in the position of stopping police in the heat on an attack like that, and short of finding a machine gun, you would probably just die as well. We have to be able to trust police because we give them so much power. An abuse like this isn't just the crime, but the betrayal of public trust.

If you saw a cop beating a man to death, would you try to stop him? Citizens at this incident just taped it and asked for justice later. If someone shot at the cops to get them to stop, wouldn't that be a drama?

Edit - here is the MSNBC report on this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNvcxStDE_I
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on August 04, 2011, 08:04:06 AM
Lots of loons claim utterly bogus things on the net and there are the dumbasses that buy into it because it fits their ignorant bias.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Hello Kitty on August 04, 2011, 10:12:47 AM
Lots of loons claim utterly bogus things on the net and there are the dumbasses that buy into it because it fits their ignorant bias.

GM, that is always a major problem with any medium of communication. Many people are so lazy, that they simply believe whatever it is that they are told and rarely bother to verify the source or validity of what it is that they are ingesting mentally.
Title: Fullerton Police
Post by: JDN on September 21, 2011, 06:57:58 PM
I thought I posted something about this subject before, but I can't find it.  It seems I'm not the only one who thinks the Police stepped out of line.

"Ramos faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life if convicted, authorities said. Cicinelli, who is 39 years old and a 12-year Fullerton police veteran, faces a maximum of four years in prison if convicted."

http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/21/justice/california-homeless-death/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
Title: Re: Fullerton Police
Post by: G M on September 21, 2011, 07:47:34 PM
I thought I posted something about this subject before, but I can't find it.  It seems I'm not the only one who thinks the Police stepped out of line.

"Ramos faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life if convicted, authorities said. Cicinelli, who is 39 years old and a 12-year Fullerton police veteran, faces a maximum of four years in prison if convicted."

http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/21/justice/california-homeless-death/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Yes, you had your opinion based on nothing.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 21, 2011, 08:10:07 PM
http://www.aele.org/law/2009all01/2009-01MLJ101.pdf

Conclusions:

Police trainers must be aware of potential deaths from compressional asphyxia. Officers must be taught to avoid putting their body weight on a confined person as soon as active resistance has ended or the person has been adequately restrained from causing harm to himself or others. Dr. Reay’s article in the May, 1996 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin emphasized:
“Instructors must stress vigilance in monitoring the subject’s condition. The process of hypoxia is insidious, and subjects might not exhibit any clear symptoms before they simply stop breathing. Generally, it takes several minutes for significant hypoxia to occur, but it can happen more quickly if the subject has been violently active and is already out of breath. If the subject experiences extreme difficulty breathing or stops breathing altogether, officers must take steps to resuscitate the subject and obtain medical care immediately.”

Deaths will still occur because of substance abuse, or pre-existing coronary or respiratory conditions. But if a dashboard video camera shows officers putting their weight on a person shortly before he stops breathing, a civil suit and a disciplinary investigation are likely to follow. The outcome of both might be adversely influenced by media bias, political posturing, or racial overtones.

Caution – from a policy and training perspective, officers are admonished to cease aggressively restraining persons who appear to have abandoned their resistance. As a practical matter, due to the influence of abused substances or other reasons, people sometimes resist, submit, and then renew their resistance with increased vigor. “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over” is more than a cute phrase.
Title: Not so quiet and gentle
Post by: G M on September 21, 2011, 08:26:14 PM
(http://fullertonstories.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/FPD_Thomas_Kelly.jpg)

**Funny, doesn't look so quiet and gentle here.

http://fullertonstories.com/kelly-thomas-a-quiet-gentle-soul/

Although he moved between cities, Kelly Thomas would often show up unannounced at his mother’s  and grandparents’ home to shower, eat, get cleaned up, and then he’d disappear again. If it was raining, he would sleep in the car parked in their driveway, Cathy Thomas said.
 

A 2009 Fullerton Police booking photo.
 
In December 2010, Kelly Thomas had been staying at their house for a few months. At the direction of the Placentia Police Department, Cathy Thomas filed a restraining order against her son so that he would be taken into custody for 72 hours. They told her it was the only way to get him help. Then, options for helping him could be determined, but the police never picked him up that day, Cathy Thomas said.
 
“It was a tough love move, I didn’t know what else to do. He was living on my parents’ porch so I was trying to get him help again,” she said. “The police did not pick him up that day. Instead they say he was old enough to be on his own and that he could make his own decisions, but I knew he needed help because he was not in his right mind. They said he had to become violent, but he was never violent.”
 
Kelly Thomas remained on the streets, becoming a fixture on the streets of Downtown Fullerton. He received citations for illegal camping and trespassing, Ron Thomas said, but Fullerton residents and business owners knew him, and his death saddened and angered many.
 
For some, though, Kelly Thomas’s presence downtown was a problem.  “Most of my staff was very scared and intimidated by him. They were reluctant to ask him to move along,” said Jeremy Popoff, owner of the Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen.  “Two or three days before [the arrest] he was bumming cigarettes, and the manager said to him ‘Kelly, you can’t do that here, you gotta move on.’  And Kelly screamed back at him ‘Don’t call me by my first name!’ ”
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on September 21, 2011, 08:27:43 PM
GM said, "Yes, you had your opinion based on nothing."

Hmmm the District Attorney seems to disagree....   :?
"The actions of Ramos "were reckless and created a high risk of death and great bodily injury," District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told reporters."

So did the Judge who set bail at $1,000.000 dollars!   :-o

"Ramos was being held Wednesday after Orange County Superior Court Judge Erick L. Larsh set his bail at $1 million."


Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 21, 2011, 08:33:23 PM
GM said, "Yes, you had your opinion based on nothing."

Hmmm the District Attorney seems to disagree....   :?
"The actions of Ramos "were reckless and created a high risk of death and great bodily injury," District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told reporters."

So did the Judge who set bail at $1,000.000 dollars!   :-o

"Ramos was being held Wednesday after Orange County Superior Court Judge Erick L. Larsh set his bail at $1 million."


Yes, after all the protests and outcry from the leech community and sheltered douchbags like you. What would you do if confronted by a street person like Kelly Thomas? Most likely shove your wife in front of you and run.
Title: Poor little lamb....
Post by: G M on September 21, 2011, 08:34:36 PM
http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-08-04/news/29870061_1_surveillance-video-police-officers-fullerton-police

Ron Thomas said his son was diagnosed with mental illness after he was arrested for a minor violation. He went to a live in facility that monitored his medication.

He did well when he was on his medication and briefly held jobs at a gas station and a printing facility, his father said.

But when he was feeling well, Thomas would stop taking his drugs and soon was back on the streets and in and out of jail for violations that ranged from public urination to assault with a deadly weapon.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on September 21, 2011, 09:00:07 PM
Ahhh I  think in the same article you posted it said....

"Surveillance video taken on an Orange County Transportation Authority bus showed passengers describing the alleged assault.

"They beat him up and then all the cops came and they hogtied him and he was like, 'Please God, Please Dad!'" said one witness."

And....

"Where were his rights? Listen to my son beg those officers, 'Please, please, God, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.' And the last words of his life, 'Dad! Dad!' I want you to hear that for the rest of your life like I will."

Police are NOT above the law...

Obviously the District Attorney agrees.  Officer Ramos is charged with 2nd Degree Murder.  If convicted, Officer Ramos will serve 15 years to LIFE in Prison.

Sounds pretty serious to me...
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 21, 2011, 09:06:04 PM
Yeah, were you privy to the investigation when you were spouting off on it? Were you at the scene of the arrest?

So, tell me JDN, what's your experience taking on violent street people in real physical confrontations?

Oh, I forgot. You let others do your fighting for you while you cower at a safe distance.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 21, 2011, 09:20:35 PM
So, here is a little dose of reality:

Even in boxing/football/martial arts or any other competition where there is an element of physical force, serious injury and death can result. Well trained and conditioned in a safe environment with a referee and protective equipment and no desire to kill can still result in bad things happening.

Real life violence doesn't have those safeguards. No one is going to be "friends at the end of the day" and street people don't care what your IQ is or if you get to leave with it.
Title: Show him the money
Post by: G M on September 21, 2011, 09:30:09 PM

http://articles.ocregister.com/2011-07-30/news/29836698_1_fullerton-police-police-station-stun-gun

Kelly Thomas’ dad: $900,000 offered to settle

July 30, 2011|By JEFF OVERLEY and VIK JOLLY


FULLERTON – The father of a man who died after a violent confrontation with Fullerton police said Saturday that he has been offered $900,000 to settle any civil claims against the city.

Ron Thomas' 37-year-old son Kelly Thomas, who was homeless and schizophrenic, died July 10, five days after clashing with police investigating reports of attempted car burglary. An autopsy failed to determine a cause of death, and further tests are being conducted.

Controversy surrounding the circumstances is building, and more than 200 people turned out Saturday to demonstrate at the Fullerton police station. About the same number participated in a candlelight vigil on the City Hall lawn in the evening.

"It's fantastic," Ron Thomas said amid a sea of picketers. "We've had tremendous support."

The FBI and the Orange County District Attorney are investigating the death, and separately, an attorney representing the city on Friday offered $900,000 to resolve the civil side of the case, Ron Thomas said.

Thomas first disclosed the possible six-figure deal on the Jon and Ken Show at KFI-AM 640. Neither city officials nor the attorney could be reached for comment, and the offer could not be confirmed.

Ron Thomas said he is considering accepting the payment, and that the money would primarily go to a foundation set up in Kelly Thomas' name to assist the homeless. Some money would go to Kelly Thomas' brother and sister and their children, Ron Thomas said.

"I'm willing to listen, but I'm not signing anything at this time," Ron Thomas said.

As for the inquiries being conducted, Thomas said he has "always thought that the District Attorney would do a fair investigation."

Amateur video said to have captured the incident includes audio of Kelly Thomas screaming and being hit repeatedly with a stun gun.

Sgt. Andrew Goodrich, Fullerton police spokesman, said his department "wants this transparent investigation to take place" and that it is "fully cooperating."

One of the six officers involved in the July 5 incident is on administrative leave, and the other five have been temporarily reassigned away from front-line patrol.

Kelly Thomas had a long list of run-ins with police. His convictions were mostly misdemeanors and infractions but include felony assault with a deadly weapon.

**Let's see, Kelly Thomas had a restraining order placed on him by his family, but now they care.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on September 21, 2011, 09:34:12 PM
Beat up, with fellow officers helping, hog tied, and killed a homeless man.

Sounds like Officer Ramos is a real class act.   Wow he doesn't cower does he?  Maybe the blue helps?  And the other Officers?  And the gun?  Yep, Officer Ramos is pretty brave.
Let's see how brave he is in jail?  And prison if he is convicted.

And unlike any other private citizen, Officer Ramos will be given a first class defense; not some overworked public defender.  All at the Tax Payer's Expense.  I thought we were trying to cut back?
Maybe Officer Ramos should pay for his own defense like everyone else?

Then again, you are right; I'ld probably cower at a safe distance if Officer Ramos was around.  "To Protect and To Serve"    Kinda scary   :?

The District Attorney found Officer Ramos crime so bad (and I'm sure he IS privy to the investigation) that he charged Officer Ramos with 2nd Degree MURDER. 

The Orange County coroner listed the manner of death as a homicide and the cause of death to be "anoxic encephalopathy with acute bronchopneumonia," asphyxia caused by "mechanical chest compression with blunt cranial-facial injuries during physical altercation with law enforcement," prosecutors said.

Pretty serious huh?  WAY beyond "friends at the end of the day". 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 21, 2011, 09:39:22 PM
Whatever, keyboard warrior. You could never do the job.

The next time law enforcement needs to take someone like Kelly Thomas into custody, are you going to step up and snap on the bracelets?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on September 21, 2011, 10:42:05 PM
Let's see how "warrior" Ramos does in Prison without his friends, his blue uniform, his stick, and his gun.

2nd Degree MURDER.   The coroner even says "HOMICIDE". 

I bet you are a good cop GM.  How can you defend that....

And unlike the average citizen, Ramos will get a first class EXPENSIVE defense, not some overworked public defender with no budget. 

All paid for by us the taxpayer....


Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 21, 2011, 11:25:54 PM
2nd Degree MURDER.   The coroner even says "HOMICIDE". 

Do you understand the difference between murder and homicide?

I bet you are a good cop GM.  How can you defend that....

Without a clear understanding all the elements, there is no way to give an informed decision as to if this was a lawful use of force or not. The media, as usual is pushing it's narrative rather than delivering unbiased facts.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 22, 2011, 04:13:55 AM
GM: 

"sheltered douchbags like you"?  "while you cower at a safe distance"?

I love ya man and I know you and JDN sometimes bump heads strongly, but you know that we seek to avoid this kind of personal commentary around here. 

Please do better on this.

Thank you,
Marc
===============

Returning now to the merits of the conversation, as usual GM does a very good job of bringing out the LEO POV.  I know I certainly have seen indiginant news reports on TV showing LEO behavior with great indignation that at earlier points in my life I would have shared but now look at and shout back at the Barbie & Ken doll teleprompter readers about what clueless morons they are (as inwardly I realize what a moron I had been earlier in my life :lol: ).

That said, the point remains that there ARE times police get out of line, sometimes  quite a bit out of line.  Given the charges being brought here, it seems reasonable to me to think that perhaps this may have been such a case; even while keeping in mind that political charges are not unknown either.

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 22, 2011, 06:25:34 AM
Crafty,

I remember when UFC first started and the media hype was about "human cockfighting" and how horrible and evil it was. Good thing stickfighting was under their radar at that time? Can you imagine how things could have spun out if a gathering resulted in a critical injury or death at that time?

DA's are elected. What are the top three priorities of any politician? To get re-elected, to get re-elected and to get re-elected.

It's really tiresome when people who have never done the job and could never do the job and would be the first to call law enforcement for anything sit in judgement of officers that may well have done nothing wrong.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 22, 2011, 07:00:46 AM
I guess Fullerton PD should get some scrutiny and protests, given the 200 Mexicans that have died in the past few years because of their actions.

Oh wait, that's the ATF and everyone else hooked into "Gunwalker/Fast and Furious' with the paper trail that leads to Holder and Obama.

Hmmmm....

Where are the lefty protesters? Where are the professional "Razaists"? Where is the MSM with the profiles of the murdered Mexicans, the sobbing family members and the sad instrumental music playing in the background?

Does Fullerton PD have lots of fatal uses of force/Officer involved shootings?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 22, 2011, 08:47:15 AM
GM:

Nice rhetorical flourishes and not without merit, but it seems like you have a hard time acknowledging that sometimes an LEO can be a real dick and here I AM speaking from personal experience.  Not that I am going to discuss the details-- you will have to take my word for it or not-- I have had an LEO commit direct and deliberate perjury in an effort to put me in prison.  In a separate matter WHILE ALL OF US WERE COMPLETELY COOPERATING I have been part of a group that was slammed up against the wall.  I confess it crosses my mind to note that except for me all of us were black and the police were white. 

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 22, 2011, 10:36:56 AM
Have I ever said there are no bad cops? No.

If I saw evidence that said the FPD cops in question met beforehand and said "Hey, let's kill a homeless person tonight", it would be a different story. If I saw evidence that they acted with a depraved indifference towards the decedent, that's again a different story.

Thus far we have media hype and uninformed speculation.

I'll point out that I personally have ended two law enforcement officer's careers for domestic violence and slugged it out with a corrupt police administration, resulting in an early retirement for a chief of police and made some serious political enemies within a powerful political entity.

I have bled on my uniform more than a few times and put my life and career on the line to do the right thing more than a few times and gotten not much in the way of reward and recognition for doing so. Not that my intention was to seek a reward in this life, but just pointing out that fighting the good fight doesn't mean you get the Hollywood ending.

My point being:

Most people in law enforcement are good people, trying to do the right thing under very difficult circumstances and accordingly deserve the benefit of the doubt. Wait for a definitive investigation and due process to determined what happened in this case and the others that will occur in the future.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 22, 2011, 12:43:47 PM
Amen to that and Amen to you.

Do know however that sometimes you do not effectively communicate an awareness that there are cops who do wrong, either purposively, or under the stress of a bad moment.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 22, 2011, 05:51:02 PM
Should I preface every posting on law enforcement with a disclaimer stating there are indeed bad cops? Does someone confronting an anti-semite have to initially state that indeed there are some bad Jews before condemning the protocals of the elders of Zion?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 22, 2011, 06:00:25 PM
C'mon GM, you really think that's my point?  :roll:
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 22, 2011, 06:26:09 PM
I address each point on it's merits. A lot of criticism is unwarranted and based on misinformation. A lot of people love to bash cops. People that could not and would not walk in those shoes. People who have no clue as to the suffering and sacrifice involved in the job.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 23, 2011, 08:14:03 AM
OTOH sometimes you read like you aren't willing to consider the possibility that an officer misbehaved.

Anyway, moving along, here's this-- it's on point to our discussion but it is from this morning's Left Angeles Times, and is written as to be expected.
==========

By Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times
 
September 23, 2011
Almost half the people shot at by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies after reaching toward their waistbands turned out to be unarmed, according to a study released Thursday.

"Waistband shootings" are particularly controversial because the justification for the shootings can conceivably be fabricated after the fact, according to the county monitor's report, which was commissioned by the county Board of Supervisors and which analyzed six years of shooting data.  The monitor was careful to point out that the report wasn't indicating that deputies were being dishonest, simply that those shootings left the department vulnerable to criticism.

Interactive: Officer-involved killings since 2007

Merrick Bobb, who was hired as a special counsel to county supervisors after a 1992 report exposed serious problems in the department, also found an increase in shootings in which deputies didn't see an actual gun before firing. In those cases, the suspects may have had a weapon but never brandished it.

Those shootings jumped from nine in 2009 to 15 last year, according to the report. Last year also saw the highest proportion of people shot by deputies who turned out to be unarmed altogether.

The Sheriff's Department already requires its patrol deputies to do scenario-based shooting training every two years. According to the report, though, almost a third of the deputies who shot at people before seeing an actual gun failed to meet that training requirement.

According to the report, the number of officer-involved shootings generally correlates with the criminal homicide rate. But in the last two years, as the homicide rate in Los Angeles County has fallen, the number of Sheriff's Department shootings has risen.

In one case, deputies came across a narcotics suspect sitting in his car outside his house. When the 35-year-old man saw the deputies, he appeared to reach under his seat. One of the deputies thought he saw a gun, covered by a piece of cloth. The man then sat up, holding the object to his chest, prompting the deputy to shoot him. The man was killed but no drugs or weapons were found, only a pair of jeans. The county eventually paid $750,000 to the victim's family.

The analysis also found that 61% of suspects who were shot at by deputies were Latino, 29% black and 10% white. Even compared to Sheriff's Department arrest rates, Latinos and blacks are overrepresented, the study concluded.

In shootings in which deputies shot at a suspect before seeing an actual gun, all but two of the suspects were black or Latino.

The report expressed "deep concerns" specifically about the sheriff's Century Station, which is responsible for one of the rougher swaths of the department's jurisdiction, spanning Lynwood and unincorporated areas of Florence, Firestone, Walnut Park, Willowbrook and Athens Park.

Over the last 15 years, that station's deputies have fired their guns the most frequently, almost twice as often as those at any other station. More than a quarter of the sheriff's deputies who have been involved in multiple shootings work at Century, according to the report, even though the station represents only 8% of the department's sworn patrol force.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said that the department takes the report seriously and that Sheriff Lee Baca is studying its findings with his executive staff.

Whitmore said that the training issue raised in the report is "a real one" but that a massive budget cut and subsequent overtime cuts are partly to blame.

The racial breakdown of suspects in deputy shootings, he said, also has the potential for misinterpretation.

"Even Merrick Bobb says … it will be a serious error for anyone to conclude from this report that LASD deputies intentionally shot any individual because that person was black or Latino. The conclusion that this is raced-based is erroneous and shouldn't even be hinted at."

The concerns the monitor raised with the Century station, Whitmore said, can be attributed to the highly concentrated, gang-ridden neighborhoods that deputies must patrol.

"These communities include some of the most volatile in the county," Whitmore said.

Among the report's other findings:

• Deputies firing their guns off duty are more likely to be fresh out of the academy. More than half of off-duty shootings involved deputies with less than three years on the job.

• Deputies shooting at animals spiked recently, with 62 last year, more than double the number several years before.

• All deputies involved in multiple shootings in recent years were men.

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 23, 2011, 12:02:03 PM
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Vl9FniemlE[/youtube]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Vl9FniemlE

A quick reminder just how fast a gunfight can go down. Note that a single-action revolver is used here, which must be manually cocked before a shot can be fired.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 23, 2011, 12:06:46 PM
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA-xIssgT-o&feature=related[/youtube]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA-xIssgT-o&feature=related

It can go down that fast.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on September 24, 2011, 07:49:14 AM
Yeah, and I can run the 100 meter dash in 9.6 seconds too.  Yes, it has been done, but......

Although I have always been impressed with those fast draw competitions (I've gone to watch a couple of times), it's not as easy as it looks.  Nor is running a sub 10.0 100 meter dash.

Further, what's impressive is the ability to draw fast AND hit the target.

The troubling thing in the article was;

"Almost half the people shot at by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies after reaching toward their waistbands turned out to be unarmed, according to a study released Thursday."


Basically they shot an unarmed man.  They weren't in immediate danger for their life.  If you and I did that, we would be on trial for murder. 

That said, as GM has succinctly pointed out, being a police officer is NOT an easy job. Nor are these particular officers patrolling Beverly Hills.

Frankly, I think (GM can rightfully correct me; this is just my guess) the adrenalin and fear (police are human too) take over and sh#t happens..   Given that they
"thought" the bad guy was going for a gun, well.....  and if they truly were going for a gun.... better him than me...

To make another point;

"More than half of off-duty shootings involved deputies with less than three years on the job."

I think experience, in that split second, enables you to make the right choice.  But it's not easy.

More training?  More???  No one wants to kill an "innocent" man. 

Frankly, as a generalization, without knowing the details, IMHO these shootings, while truly unfortunate and sad, are understandable.  The Officer did in fact, albeit incorrectly, fear for his life.

My problem with the Thomas situation is that he had no weapon.  Officer Ramos didn't even think it was necessary to pat him down.  Instead, with other Officers nearly,
Officer Ramos "put on Latex gloves",
And then, Officer Ramos said clearly, ""Now see my fists? They're getting ready to 'F' you up."

Somehow that's not right in my book.

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 24, 2011, 12:17:41 PM
"Almost half the people shot at by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies after reaching toward their waistbands turned out to be unarmed, according to a study released Thursday."


Basically they shot an unarmed man.  They weren't in immediate danger for their life.  If you and I did that, we would be on trial for murder. 

**The courts use the standard of what you reasonably believe at the moment in time when you make the decision to use force. This standard does apply to both LEOs and armed citizens. Say a badguy uses a replica handgun to carjack a citizen and the citizen instead/shoots/stabs/runs over the badguy. It's lawful if the citizen reasonably believes it was a deadly weapon as part of ability/opportunity/jeopardy.

That said, as GM has succinctly pointed out, being a police officer is NOT an easy job. Nor are these particular officers patrolling Beverly Hills.

Frankly, I think (GM can rightfully correct me; this is just my guess) the adrenalin and fear (police are human too) take over and sh#t happens..   Given that they
"thought" the bad guy was going for a gun, well.....  and if they truly were going for a gun.... better him than me...

**Again, it's a matter of "reasonableness" based on the officer's perceptions and the totality of the circumstances. The article points out how the majority of the shootings are by deputies with 3 or less years on the job. From memory, the majority of officers killed by suspects typically have 5 or more years on the job. So, after 5 years, the lessons from the academy fade and complacency develops. Complacency kills.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 24, 2011, 12:30:41 PM
My problem with the Thomas situation is that he had no weapon.  Officer Ramos didn't even think it was necessary to pat him down.  Instead, with other Officers nearly,
Officer Ramos "put on Latex gloves",

**These days, if you have to touch anyone, especially a street person, you better glove up when you have a chance.


And then, Officer Ramos said clearly, ""Now see my fists? They're getting ready to 'F' you up."

Somehow that's not right in my book.

**Do you think Thomas was just standing there quietly, like a meek little lamb? I doubt it. It looks like Thomas was a "frequent flyer" and I'm guessing that part of Fullerton isn't Rodeo Drive-like. Sometimes one must alter one's presentation to the audience. Sometimes clearly explaining that resistance will result in force, using terminology understood by the subject results in the force not having to be used.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 24, 2011, 01:01:00 PM
I'm assuming they do ride-alongs.

LASD's Century Station

11703 Alameda St.
 Lynwood, CA 90262
 Business Phone: (323)568-4800
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on September 25, 2011, 07:20:51 AM
"Almost half the people shot at by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies after reaching toward their waistbands turned out to be unarmed, according to a study released Thursday."


Basically they shot an unarmed man.  They weren't in immediate danger for their life.  If you and I did that, we would be on trial for murder. 

**The courts use the standard of what you reasonably believe at the moment in time when you make the decision to use force. This standard does apply to both LEOs and armed citizens. Say a badguy uses a replica handgun to carjack a citizen and the citizen instead/shoots/stabs/runs over the badguy. It's lawful if the citizen reasonably believes it was a deadly weapon as part of ability/opportunity/jeopardy.

That said, as GM has succinctly pointed out, being a police officer is NOT an easy job. Nor are these particular officers patrolling Beverly Hills.

Frankly, I think (GM can rightfully correct me; this is just my guess) the adrenalin and fear (police are human too) take over and sh#t happens..   Given that they
"thought" the bad guy was going for a gun, well.....  and if they truly were going for a gun.... better him than me...

**Again, it's a matter of "reasonableness" based on the officer's perceptions and the totality of the circumstances. The article points out how the majority of the shootings are by deputies with 3 or less years on the job. From memory, the majority of officers killed by suspects typically have 5 or more years on the job. So, after 5 years, the lessons from the academy fade and complacency develops. Complacency kills.

"a standard of what you believe is reasonable".  Yes, if a bad guy pulled out a toy gun and I couldn't tell the difference, and therefore reasonably believed my life was in danger, I have a pretty good defense.  But in most of the instances, they didn't pull out a toy gun, they merely went to their waist, pulling out nothing except maybe their d$%^.  I think in most states if I shot a unarmed man who had not hit or attacked me, and my defense was, well, "he was going for his waist" I would be locked up as a private citizen for a long time....  Police get off, and maybe rightfully so.

As for killed on the job, of course "the majority of officers killed by suspects typically have 5 or more years on the job." the average LAPD Officer has 12 years on the job.  There are more officers by far with over 5 years, therefore more of them will die.  I"m not sure it can be proven that it has a lot to do with complacency.

As for Ramos, his actions were so egregious in my opinion that he should be locked up for a long time.  Did you read what he did?  So I say, Take away his gun, his stick, and blue uniform and put him in a common room with other criminals.  Then let's see how tough he is.  He deserves whatever he gets.  And it probably won't be much; in the end, it's rare that a police officer is convicted of a crime.  Too bad.

I've gone on ride alongs before.  Most, by far the majority of police do an outstanding job.  But there are a few bad apples that need to be culled out.  Everyone is better off.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 25, 2011, 09:25:09 AM
"a standard of what you believe is reasonable".  Yes, if a bad guy pulled out a toy gun and I couldn't tell the difference, and therefore reasonably believed my life was in danger, I have a pretty good defense.  But in most of the instances, they didn't pull out a toy gun, they merely went to their waist, pulling out nothing except maybe their d$%^.  I think in most states if I shot a unarmed man who had not hit or attacked me, and my defense was, well, "he was going for his waist" I would be locked up as a private citizen for a long time....  Police get off, and maybe rightfully so.

http://www.fletc.gov/training/programs/legal-division/podcasts/fletc-legal-division-use-of-force/use-of-force-part-1-transcript.html/

Bobby:  Let’s move on.  We’ve defined a seizure.  We said that if a plaintiff sues a defendant for using excessive force, the issue in the case is whether the force was objectively reasonable.  That’s from the Supreme Court case, Graham v. Connor.  The Supreme Court told us that a seizure under the Fourth Amendment must be objectively reasonable.  That is the key to the Fourth Amendment -- reasonableness. 
Tim:  Did the Court say we had to be perfect, Bobby?
Bobby:  No; we know better than that.  None of us are perfect.  The force must be reasonable.  The Court acknowledged that seizures are made under circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving.  The Court will not require us to be perfect; just reasonable.
Tim:  And just how is a court supposed to make that determination?
Bobby:  By examining the totality of the facts and circumstances.  If a plaintiff sues a defendant police officer for excessive force, the court must look at all the facts.  It will examine the facts presented by the plaintiff.  It will consider the facts presented by the defendant officer.  The issue will be whether based on the totality of the facts and circumstances, the force was reasonable. 
Tim:  The court recognized that the test of reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment is not capable of precise definition or mechanical application.  So, proper application requires careful attention to the facts and circumstances of each case.  Bobby, you said objective reasonableness.  Explain that.
Bobby:  The court looks at the facts through the eyes of an objectively reasonable officer.  Could a reasonable officer find that the force used was reasonable, based on the totality of the facts and circumstances.  An objective standard is based on fact. 
Tim:  I think it’s important to remember our roles in the courtroom.  Cops state the facts.  Judges make conclusions, based on those facts.  The court doesn’t care that the police officer believed that “the suspect was dangerous” or that “the officer felt his life was in danger.”  Those are mere conclusions.  What are the facts that would allow the judge to come to those conclusions?   
Bobby:  The court looks at the totality of the facts and circumstances from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene.  It examines the facts the officer had up until the moment of the seizure.  What facts justified the initial stop?  What facts justified handcuffing?  Spraying the suspect with OC?  What facts justified pulling the trigger?  We ask whether each of those seizures was reasonable.  The court examines the facts that were available to the officer.  The court doesn’t judge the officer based on 20/20 hindsight.
Tim:  What’s 20/20 hindsight, Bobby?  Tell us a little about that.
Bobby: Courts don’t look at the facts that the officer learns later.  The facts might be that the officer shot a robbery suspect after the suspect pulled a pistol from his pocket and pointed it at the officer.  It’s not relevant that the officer later learned that the handgun was unloaded – or a toy.   
Tim:  When a LEO uses force, it’s typically done under situations that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving. 
Bobby:  And the Supreme Court told the lower courts to take THAT into consideration.  In determining the reasonableness of force, courts must allow for the fact that law enforcement officers are often forced to make split-second decisions – and like Tim said -- under circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving.     
Tim:  What else does a court take into account in determining the reasonableness of force?
Bobby:  In Graham v. Connor, the Supreme Court gave us four major factors that may be used in determining what level of force is justified in a use of force encounter.  We sometimes refer to them as the Graham factors. 

Those factors are:
•    The severity of the crime
•     Whether the suspect is an immediate threat to the safety of officers or others
•     Whether the suspect is actively resisting arrest
•    And whether the suspect is evading arrest by flight
Later, after Graham v. Connor, the courts added additional factors to determine whether the force used in a particular situation was reasonable.  These additional factors included such things as:
•    The number of suspects and officers involved.
•    The size, age, and condition of the officer and suspect
•    The duration of the action
•    Previous violent history of the suspect, known by the officer at the time
•    The suspect’s mental or psychiatric history, known by the officer at the time
•    The use of alcohol or drugs by the suspect
•    The presence of innocent bystanders
•    The availability of other weapons (chemical sprays, batons, tasers)
Tim: Let’s look at Graham v. Connor.  Bobby and I are going to change some of the facts so that you can better understand how a court might determine whether the force is reasonable.   You be the judge.  Consider the facts we give you.  First, listen to Mr. Graham’s side of the story as I tell it.  Then listen to Officer Conner.     
I’ll be Mr. Graham.  I’m a diabetic.  One day I felt the onset of an insulin reaction, so I called my friend Berry and asked Berry to take me to a convenience store to buy some OJ.  The OJ counteracts the insulin reaction.  Berry came over and we sped off to a convenience store.  Once at the store, I jumped out and ran inside.  But, the line was too long.  I couldn’t wait.  So I ran back outside, jumped in Berry’s car, and we sped off for a friend’s house.
Then a police car pulled us over.  The officer felt that we might have robbed or stole something from the convenience store.  Berry tried to explain my condition; but the officer wouldn’t listen.  The officer said he was going to hold me until backup could go back to the convenience store and determine whether a crime had been committed.
I guess I panicked.  I got out of the car and ran around it.  The next thing I knew I was being handcuffed and thrown into a police car.  I got hurt.  I sustained a broken bone in my foot, cuts on my wrists, bruised forehead, and a persistent ringing in my ears. 
Bobby: Don’t make up your mind, yet.  Now look at the facts from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene.  Connor saw Graham run into the convenience store and rush back out.  Police reports stated that there had been several robberies and shoplifting incidents in convenience stores in the area over the past three months.  Based on those facts, could a reasonable officer conclude that Mr. Graham had committed a crime.  If so, the officer could stop or seize him – and use reasonable force to do so. 
Tim:     And with facts to justify the stop, the officer can also hold a suspect for a reasonable period of time to confirm or deny the suspicion.
Bobby:  And that’s what the officer did.  Officer Conner held Mr. Graham and his friend Berry for about 20 or 30 minutes, a reasonable period of time for a backup officer to go back to the convenience store and see if the store was robbed.
Tim:    Now, Officer Conner could also order Mr. Graham and his friend to remain in the car.                           
Bobby: And Mr. Graham disobeyed that order.  Mr. Graham got out the car and ran around it.  Officer Conner also smelled an odor on Mr. Graham’s breath that Conner believed was alcohol.  (Incidentally, a diabetic’s breath may smell sweet, or similar to alcohol.) 
Tim:  Police statistics have stated that as many as 80% of the assaults on police officers are by suspects under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. 
Bobby: With those facts, Officer Conner could use reasonable force to control Mr. Graham.  Conner grabbed Mr. Graham, pushed him against the car, and handcuffed him. 
Tim: So, you be the judge.  Was the INITIAL stop reasonable?  In other words, could a reasonable officer on the scene believe that Mr. Graham committed a crime at the convenience store?  And, could the officer hold Graham for a reasonable time for backup to check out the convenience store?  Based on the facts that I’ve presented, I think so. 
Bobby: And what about the handcuffing.  Could a reasonable officer on the scene believe that grabbing and handcuffing Graham was reasonable, after Conner ordered Graham to remain in the car and Graham jumped out?  I think so.  Let’s look at some factors to consider:
•    The officer had facts to believe the suspect committed a crime – maybe larceny or even robbery.
•    When Graham jumped out of the car, the officer had facts to believe that Graham was a threat to the officer.

Tim: Look at some additional factors:
•    Consider the number of suspects and number of officers at the scene.
•    Consider the fact that Officer Conner smelled what he believed was alcohol on Graham’s breath.
Tim:  Bobby, let’s talk about a couple of myths.  Does an officer need PC to arrest a suspect before the officer can use handcuffs? 
Bobby:  No.  I’ve heard people say that putting handcuffs on a suspect automatically turns a seizure into an arrest.  That’s not true.  Handcuffing someone is a seizure.  And, the seizure must be reasonable.  Handcuffs, alone, will not convert a seizure into an arrest requiring PC.
Tim:  What if a police officer points a weapon at someone.  Does an officer need PC to pull his weapon?
Bobby:  That’s another myth. Pointing a weapon at someone is a seizure, assuming the suspect stops and submits to the officer’s control.  The seizure has to be reasonable.  Many times officers will pull their weapons when they have a reasonable suspicion (NOT PC) that someone is armed and dangerous.
Tim:  Bobby, was Mr. Graham actually a diabetic?  In other words, when Mr. Graham told Officer Conner that he was simply suffering from an insulin reaction and that he needed the Orange juice to counteract the reaction, was he telling the truth?
Bobby:  Yes; Mr. Graham was telling the truth.  Mr. Graham was actually a good guy.  However, we don’t judge the officer based on what he learns after the fact.
Tim:  I’ve had students argue in class that if they were the officer on the scene, they would have looked at Mr. Graham’s medical card -- indicating that he was a diabetic -- and that if they saw the medical card -- they might have believed Mr. Graham’s story.  That’s a subjective standard.  What you would have done is subjective, and not relevant.  The issue is whether a reasonable officer on the scene COULD have believed that the force was reasonable.               
Bobby:  That’s enough for now.  We’ll see you when we come back.  Next we will talk about deadly force and when it is objectively reasonable.     

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on September 25, 2011, 09:29:55 AM
Interesting reading, but your point is?

Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 25, 2011, 09:34:29 AM
Bobby:  Let’s move on.  We’ve defined a seizure.  We said that if a plaintiff sues a defendant for using excessive force, the issue in the case is whether the force was objectively reasonable.  That’s from the Supreme Court case, Graham v. Connor.  The Supreme Court told us that a seizure under the Fourth Amendment must be objectively reasonable.  That is the key to the Fourth Amendment -- reasonableness. 
Tim:  Did the Court say we had to be perfect, Bobby?
Bobby:  No; we know better than that.  None of us are perfect.  The force must be reasonable.  The Court acknowledged that seizures are made under circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving.  The Court will not require us to be perfect; just reasonable.Tim:  And just how is a court supposed to make that determination?
Bobby:  By examining the totality of the facts and circumstances.  If a plaintiff sues a defendant police officer for excessive force, the court must look at all the facts.  It will examine the facts presented by the plaintiff.  It will consider the facts presented by the defendant officer.  The issue will be whether based on the totality of the facts and circumstances, the force was reasonable. 
Tim:  The court recognized that the test of reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment is not capable of precise definition or mechanical application.  So, proper application requires careful attention to the facts and circumstances of each case.
  Bobby, you said objective reasonableness.  Explain that.
Bobby:  The court looks at the facts through the eyes of an objectively reasonable officer.  Could a reasonable officer find that the force used was reasonable, based on the totality of the facts and circumstances.  An objective standard is based on fact. 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 25, 2011, 09:39:46 AM
Furtive movement shooting: the Robert Bauthues case - The Ayoob Files

 by Massad Ayoob

 Situation: The man peering into your window is fully masked and dressed like a ninja. You confront him and he spins toward you with his hand rising as if to shoot.

 Lesson: You do the right thing, yet still get indicted. The key to your survival -- an attorney with a sense of justice and an understanding of the dynamics of deadly force.

 January 10, 1995

 Nighttime, shortly after nine in Anchorage, Alaska. The brief span of winter daylight has fled. In the pitch dark the temperature drops to 15 degrees below zero.

 A dark-clad figure stealthily enters the outside storm door of a modest mobile home parked on the city's edge. The neighborhood has become increasingly dangerous. This particular home was already burglarized once; the damage done to the door so extensive it needed new locks.

 The figure stands inside the room known in the northlands as an Arctic entry, a buffer zone between the frigid outdoors and a house, similar to a farm's mud-room. He sees boots and heavy outer garments, and up the stairs, a laundry room and the front door of the house. If he reads the sign hanging in the house that reads "Burglars Beware," he takes no notice.

 With a full ski mask hiding his face, he quietly climbs the stairs. Outside the front door, he sees the lights switched on and the occupants inside, including the object of his intentions. Nervous, he waits silently, trying to calm himself before doing what he has come here to do.

 The Guy's Got a Gun -- I'm Dead

 The trailer is the home of Cloudia Logan, her boyfriend Robert Bauthues and Cloudia's attractive teenage granddaughter Michelle. Bob Bauthues (pronounced "Buh-thooz") is in his early seventies. Serving his country in war left him almost completely deaf. His career as a truck driver behind him, he lives unpretentiously, a proud law-abiding citizen. Yet, the neighborhood's rampant crime concerns him and Cloudia. Anchorage Daily News columnist Mike Doogan noted in 1993 the neighborhood" ... had a crime story on the front page of the Metro section three out of every four days."

 Anchorage's Police Department is one of the country's best, but it doesn't have enough cops. Roughly 260 officers serve a thousand times that many citizens within sprawling city limits that stretch more than 90 miles from border to border. Response time cannot always be as quick as the officers would like. Bob bought a couple of dogs for security and, since the burglary, made sure his handgun rested, accessible, in his bedroom drawer.



 He and Cloudia sit in the small living room, reading and watching television. Young Michelie rushes in. While coming out of the bathroom, she tells her grandmother, urgently, that a masked man dressed in black stood at the inner door peering through the window.

 Bob reacts. Even with hearing aids he is too deaf to communicate with police dispatchers over the phone. He tells Cloudia to call 911, and then makes his way to the bedroom and opens a drawer. His gun is a Ruger Blackhawk old model single action, clean, with a pristine bore, bearing a few rust spots from hard use in the Alaskan elements. It is loaded with Remington's .357 Magnum cartridge that shoots three triple-ought buckshot pellets. Holding the revolver in his right hand, Bauthues opens the door with his left.

 The figure turns and bolts toward the stairs. Bob Bauthues shouts either "Halt" or "Stop," with the big Ruger's 6.5-inch barrel pointed at the lower part of the intruder's body. If Bob shoots, he wants to stop, not kill.

 The figure spins toward him suddenly and Bob Bauthues sees two things in rapid succession. One is a faceless mask staring at him impassively, without emotion, without care. The other is the man's right hand, flashing upward towards Bob in the classic movement of draw and fire.

 In that split instant, Robert Bauthues thinks: "The guy's got a gun. I'm dead!" He pulls the trigger and the blast and the orange flash of the .357 Magnum fill the small entryway. The figure jackknifes and Bauthues sees that the man holds no weapon while he clutches himself between the legs with both hands. The threat of danger to himself and his loved ones is over, but Bauthues' troubles have just begun.


 Alaska vs. Bauthues

 Anchorage Police arrive quickly. The intruder sat in a chair, crying and holding himself. He is a juvenile who lived nearby, aged 14. He stood at the entryway working up his courage before knocking on the door and then asking to talk with the pretty, older Michelle. He is unarmed. He does not say why he spun toward Bauthues, his hand flashing upward like the quick draw of a pistol. He wore the full-face ski mask, he said, because he was snowboarding in the sub-zero cold.

 The boy went to the hospital, where trauma surgeons had both good and bad news. The youth would live. But those three fast-moving .36 caliber lead balls had centered on the boy's genitals and done considerable damage. One testicle was destroyed. Two projectiles tore through the penis, causing severe damage. It was uncertain, the doctors said, whether normal function would resume. Time would tell.

 Anchorage's District Attorney works for Alaska's Department of Law. The district attorney takes orders from the attorney general, the attorney general takes orders from the governor, and the governor at the time was not what anyone would call pro-gun. In this shooting, the powers-that-be apparently saw only a paranoid old man who inflicted the most horrible injury imaginable on a mere boy who had done him no harm. The case was immediately submitted to the grand jury.

 The grand jury did not hear from Bob Bauthues. Working solely with what the prosecutor gave them, they indicted Bauthues for Assault in the First Degree. Under Alaska law, a conviction for this serious felony carries a minimum mandatory penalty of eight years incarceration. If he was not acquitted, it was safe to assume Bauthues would die in prison.

 Bauthues found his way to attorney Wayne Anthony Ross. A member of the National Rifle Association's board of directors since 1980, Ross is a prominent pro-gun figure throughout Alaska. He provided a sympathetic ear. He knew he would never be paid a fee commensurate with the work the case required.

 "When I was young, my father told me to be kind to old guys because with God's help, I might be one someday," Ross explains now. "Basically, it was pro bono, as the bill will never be paid. But it was a battle that had to be fought."

 Some say it's more than coincidence that Wayne Anthony Ross's initials spell WAR.

 Double Victims

 Wayne called me and filled me in. I could see it was a tragedy for the boy and his family, but that didn't make Bob Bauthues a felon. Whereas something in American values seems to say, "If there is a victim, there must be a villain," this, I felt, was a matter of two victims.

 The shooting of the juvenile was a classic example of what is called a furtive movement shooting. At law, the furtive movement -- a movement consistent with reaching for a weapon, but not reasonably consistent with anything else under the circumstances -- creates the reasonable belief that an opponent is armed.

 A furtive movement does not justify deadly force; it must be taken in context with the prevailing circumstances. In this case, the appearance of a masked man entering the house and peering through the door without announcing himself had created what most people would consider a reasonable and prudent belief that he was someone dangerous to the occupants, dangerous enough to warrant those occupants arming themselves with a handgun.

 Bauthues hadn't shot him for wearing a mask, nor for peering through the window, nor for fleeing despite his lawful command to stop or halt. It was only after a person doing a perfect imitation of a masked criminal spun on him and did another perfect imitation, to wit someone going for a gun, that the householder fired the fateful shot.

 After reviewing the complete discovery file, I agreed with Ross that Bauthues was blameless under the circumstances. If the boy had donned a moose suit and moose antlers during moose season, and gone sniffing around the moose hunters' camp, it would not have been negligent for moose hunters to shoot him. It was simply a human tragedy, a predictable mistake, caused by a young person with limited life experience who did not think about what he was doing.

SNIP______________________________________________________

Why couldn't Bauthues have waited to be sure the juvenile had a gun? Once the young man's movement mimicked drawing a gun and pointing it at Bauthues, no waiting time existed. The draw to the shot takes only a small fraction of a second. I explained if you wait to see the gun, particularly in imperfect light, you'll probably see what comes out of it.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 25, 2011, 09:43:29 AM
"As for Ramos, his actions were so egregious in my opinion that he should be locked up for a long time."

Based on what, exactly?You've read the discovery file? Your years of law enforcement experience and training?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on September 25, 2011, 09:59:21 AM
I'm still waiting for your point....   No one disagrees "that force must be reasonable".  Or that an "objective standard is based on fact."

And if the facts show that force was unreasonable, well.....

As for your Bauthues example, I'm also missing your point.  It looked like a home invasion situation; the law is different and gives greater leeway.  Still, Bauthues was arrested.  He spent a fortune on his criminal defense and/or time was donated, and in the end he pleaded out to a lessor crime.   And wait to hear what he will spend on his civil lawsuit defense; I bet he will lose and pay the big bucks therefore losing his home, savings, etc..   It doesn't sound like an outcome I would like.

As for Ramos,
The OCDA assumed the investigation into the death of Thomas on July 7, 2011. A team of six full-time OCDA Investigators and one Supervising Investigator has been assigned to this case. Approximately 12 additional OCDA Investigators, trained in custodial death investigations, provided assistance as needed. Senior Assistant District Attorney Jim Tanizaki, Assistant District Attorney Bruce Moore, and other senior OCDA managers provided legal analysis and direction in the investigation.

http://orangecountyda.com/home/index.asp?page=8&recordid=2581
 



Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 25, 2011, 10:00:52 AM

http://www.policemag.com/Channel/Recruit/Articles/2011/09/Force-of-Habits/Page/2.aspx

Bad Tactics Can Get You Killed

It's easy for officers to fall into complacency and get lazy, and laziness can get you killed.


September 15, 2011  |  by Howard Webb

An officer was shot in the head and killed by a pedestrian he had stopped for routine questioning. It was late in the afternoon when the officer pulled alongside a man and began to ask him a question. A moment later, the man took a step back, pulled out a handgun, and fired three shots at the officer at nearly point-blank range. "The shooting happened so suddenly that the officer did not have time to draw his weapon. That's how quickly the whole thing occurred," a local prosecutor said, calling the attack "an execution-style killing."
 
Sitting Behind the Steering Wheel While Running Warrants or Writing Citations
 
You may have been trained to sit behind the steering wheel to check a driver's status, check for warrants, or operate your computer. You may even have placed a driver in your patrol car's passenger seat while you wrote the citation. If you have developed any or all of these bad officer safety habits, reevaluate your traffic stop tactics.
 
Sure, these bad habits have not killed you...yet. But as several officers have found out too late, they can be fatal.
 
One sunny afternoon, an officer stopped a vehicle for speeding. The vehicle contained the driver and two passengers. As the officer sat behind his patrol car's steering wheel to check the driver's DMV status and run the passengers for warrants on the computer, a passenger exited the suspect vehicle, walked back to the patrol car, and shot and killed the officer. When the killer was arrested, he confessed that the officer was completely unaware of his presence when he shot the officer in the head.
 
In a similar incident, a deputy stopped a vehicle for speeding. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to the deputy, the driver was wanted for a shooting spree that had occurred a few hours prior in a town several hundred miles away. As the deputy sat behind the steering wheel of his patrol car to check the driver's status, the driver exited his vehicle and shot the deputy through the windshield multiple times. By the grace of God, the deputy's soft body armor stopped the bullets. With the deputy stunned from the blunt trauma of the bullets' impact, the driver was able to return to his vehicle and escape.
 
Meaningless Habits
 
Adopting and deploying tactics without first contemplating their legitimacy or evaluating their effectiveness can get you killed.
 
Let me give you a scenario: You see me standing on a street corner with my hands in my pockets and you think that I look suspicious. When you contact me, what is the first thing you ask me to do?
 
I have given this scenario to thousands of officers who have attended my training classes and instructor courses. Without exception, the officers answer: "Show me your hands." At which point, I pull a small training pistol from my pocket and point it at the officers. Their response is a wide-eyed "Oh shit" look on their faces.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 25, 2011, 10:08:29 AM
And if the facts show that force was unreasonable, well.....

We don't know the facts yet, do we? A press release isn't a discovery file. You do not have any law enforcement experience or training and have nothing but press hype to go on.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: JDN on September 25, 2011, 10:25:32 AM
And if the facts show that force was unreasonable, well.....

We don't know the facts yet, do we? A press release isn't a discovery file. You do not have any law enforcement experience or training and have nothing but press hype to go on.

Maybe "We" don't know all the facts, but "A team of six full-time OCDA Investigators and one Supervising Investigator has been assigned to this case. Approximately 12 additional OCDA Investigators, trained in custodial death investigations, provided assistance as needed" have seen/wrote the the discovery file.

It seems the DA based upon their report thought there were enough "facts" to indict for Murder 2.    :-D  Does that speak to you a little? 

And can you guess how many millions of tax payer's dollars will be paid out because of Ramos?  Bad apples belong in the garbage. 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 25, 2011, 10:44:05 AM

It seems the DA based upon their report thought there were enough "facts" to indict for Murder 2.      Does that speak to you a little?  

Do you remember how this turned out?

http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/156093/

DURHAM, N.C. — Starting Monday, it's Sexual Assault Prevention Week  at Duke University. The news comes on the heels of a gang rape investigation involving Duke University's men's lacrosse team.

No one has been charged, and no one on the team is talking, but neighbors are now breaking the silence. The beat of outrage was heard loud and clear in Durham on Sunday.

"We're making this kind of noise because we're standing in solidarity with women who've gone through this horrible atrocity," said protest organizer Manju Rajendran.


Some Duke lacrosse players reportedly hired two exotic dancers from an escort service to dance at a house party earlier in March. One of the women says three men raped, strangled and robbed her.

"I'm enraged and disgusted and embarrassed that something like this has happened," said Duke graduate student Leigh Campoamor.

Police collected DNA samples from 46 Duke lacrosse players. Now, protesters say it's time to come together and demand the truth from the men who were at the home.

"They haven't been convicted, but 30-something kids are remaining silent," said Duke student Jack Bury.

So the group is breaking that silence, with instruments of percussion serving as instruments of change. The banging of pots and pans is a practice that started in Latin America and spread to other countries. They're the tools women have in their kitchens, and they're what they use when they want to make some noise protesting domestic violence.

The noise created by the 150 protestors was loud enough to attract onlookers, but not too loud to warrant police interference. With no one home at the residence where the alleged rape reportedly occurred, the only thing to do was post signs on the house, and hope the message reverberates.

Events are planned every day this week at the university, including a "Take Back the Night" rally Wednesday night to honor survivors.

The lacrosse team was forced to forfeit two games because of the controversy. Fans showed up for Saturday's game and found out it was forfeited, along with Tuesday's match. They were also greeted by protesters, carrying signs that said "Don't be a fan of rapists."
Title: Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action
Post by: G M on September 25, 2011, 11:11:13 AM

http://www.forcescience.org/articles/study%20shoot-or-not.pdf

Summary and Conclusions

The results of these studies, taken together, reveal several crucial points:
1. Contrary to much popular opinion, average people exhibited extreme difficulty in
distinguishing a handgun from an innocuous object such as a power tool.
2. This difficulty was observed even under ideal viewing conditions, far superior to those in
actual crime situations.
3. Average people indicated an overwhelmingly strong tendency to shoot, or at least to decide
to shoot, an armed perpetrator themselves if given the opportunity, and did so at the same
levels even if the perpetrator was “armed” only with a power tool which was evidently
readily mistaken for a weapon.
4. However, even though the vast majority of the civilian respondents indicated a readiness to
shoot the perpetrator themselves, only about 1 person in 10 felt it would be appropriate for
the police to do so under the same circumstances.


These results reveal a substantial disparity between the actions, attitudes, and beliefs of typical
adults and the practical realities of police work in violent situations. It is suggested, as a matter
for further research, that much of this disparity may lie in public perceptions garnere